Over the next five years, global IP networks will support up to 10 billion new devices and connections—near tripling IP traffic growth by 2020, according to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index forecast. The proliferation of connected devices, video, and over-the-top (OTT) traffic are pushing SONET/SDH transport networks to the breaking point.

Transport networks are straining to handle the onslaught of IP multimedia traffic, and the forecasts show volumes and bandwidth demands climbing higher and higher. Repairing aging equipment in legacy transport networks is extremely expensive and difficult, as platforms such as DCSs are reaching end of life. Manual-intensive operations significantly slow a service provider’s ability to deploy, modify, and charge for services. The high costs for operations and energy are eating away at service provider revenues. With these challenges, service providers today are in need of a better transport solution that can address high traffic growth in the coming years.

The solution is transport modernization

There are a number of options for modernizing transport networks. A few examples include native TDM switching over the optical transport network (OTN), a complete overlay network with routers and DWDM, and finally migrating to packet optical using circuit emulation (CEM). Each option has value, but the value depends on the customer goal.

Leading service providers realize the need to transform their network architecture to achieve the operational efficiency, scale, and reliability needed to succeed in the digital age. In 2015 Verizon announced the next step in its transport modernization by deploying a next-generation 100G metro network in the U.S. Last year at the Optical Fiber Communications Conference (OFC), Cisco announced Verizon’s plans to deploy the Cisco NCS Series on portions of its 100G metro network, in conjunction with Cisco’s new innovations for transport modernization. We are committed to preparing this network and are pleased to assist Verizon in improving scalability, functionality and efficiency.

Before heading to Los Angeles for this year’s OFC, I caught up with Lee Hicks, vice president of network planning at Verizon, to get his perspective on Verizon’s network modernization plans. He said, “We continue to deploy 100G systems, including Cisco’s NCS Series, in high traffic areas of our metro network to optimize for higher capacity and scalability and to help meet traffic demands.”

Cisco’s innovations in optical transport networking offer a viable, cost-effective migration path for service providers to address these challenges and meet their business needs. We will continue to work with Verizon toward this transformation and delivery of new technology and services.

If attending OFC, come by our booth (#1501) or attend our sessions to hear the latest on optical networking technology. I also welcome you to read our eBook: A Roadmap for Transport Modernization.



Bill Gartner

Senior Vice President/GM

Optical Systems & Optics Group