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Orange Upgrades Long-haul Networks Using Nokia Photonic Control Plane

Orange has completed the migration of its long-haul networks in France and the rest of Europe and Asia to software controlled Photonic Control Plane network using the solutions provided by Nokia. The French Operator, Orange, and Nokia announced the successful full migration of the Long-Distance network in a press release published in the former’s website.

A photonic control plane networks are controlled by a distributed software intelligence that helps operators to manage the resources of their long-distance networks optimally.

This migration involves the distribution of network intelligence to different equipment, which was implemented successfully without any impact on Orange’s customers, after several months of preparation. During this time, the entire long-distance network ( over 18,000 km and 330 nodes), was simulated on the platform.

Orange’s French, European and Asian networks are made up of Nokia 1830 PSS WDM, which are designed to transport up to 20 Tb/s on Long-Distance links. The 1830 Photonic Service Switch product family provides CWDM, DWDM, and OTN capabilities. Photonic networking increases flexibility and operational automation.

The Alcatel-Lucent 1830 PSS family presents a combination of WDM photonic switching and ODU electronic switching layers, scalable product size variants from access (PSS-1) to core (PSS-64), interchangeable line cards among shelves, cross-layer capabilities, and a common network management system for photonic DWDM functions and OTN functions.

WDM – Wavelength Division Multiplexing – is a technique used in optical communication in which information packed multiple colors are bundled (multiplexed) and transmitted along the fiber. WDM increases the capacity of an optical fiber by circulating several different wavelengths on the same fiber. Network owners can maximize the capacity of existing fiber before going for new fiber optic cables by using WDM technology. CWDM (Coarse Wavelength Division Multiplexing) and DWDM (Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing) are two technologies commonly employed to achieve the benefits of WDM.

The solution addresses key customers’ backbone challenges by providing Layer 0, Layer 1 and Layer 2 networking capability and synergies between the layers to assure transport at the most economical level, maximum resource optimization, optimized wavelength filling, SLA guarantee, flexible client service assignment, ultra-fast restoration, and coordinated network operations were all switched to software-managed operations, allowing the deployment of on-demand activation services and automatic recovery control via Artificial Intelligence technologies in case of network down.

Designed to ensure efficient bandwidth management and traffic forwarding at the most economical transport layer, the Alcatel-Lucent 1830 PSS WDM/OTN approach meets the challenge of explosive service growth by facilitating traffic transport at the lowest cost per bit. Synergies between the optical and electrical layers ensure the highest availability and resiliency in order to warranty service quality assurance.

Moreover, the power consumption in the new electrical shelves is significantly reduced, to less than 2 W/Gb/s. Working towards an on-demand transmission network.

By taking full advantage of new virtualization and automation technologies, Orange is reinforcing its network performance in the long-term. This achievement not only helps to respond to its customers’ growing bandwidth requirements, but it also offers them more flexible on-demand transmission network solutions.

The Executive Vice President Orange International Networks Infrastructures & Services, Jean-Luc Vuillemin explained that the progress made by ORange is a major step in the development of the transmission network towards quicker and more flexible production of transmission links, automation and the creation of new added-value services for their customers. Orange continues to invest in ultra high-speed infrastructure development to support the development of new uses, such as multimedia content, social networks or the cloud, and to ensure the quality of transmissions whilst controlling costs.

Sam Bucci from Nokia said that teams of Orange and Nokia have pooled their skills to respond to growing capacity and time to market challenges. One of the key steps was the migration of the existing network software to the control plane, a carefully prepared operation orchestrated by Nokia European teams, with the support and supervision of Orange experts. He also stated that Nokia teams continue to work towards greater network automation, which will soon allow Orange customers to access services on demand via a dedicated and secure web portal.

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