Packet-optical

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Packing a punch

The single-box P-OTS originated as a way to help operators transition their networks from synchronous SONET/SDH traffic to asynchronous packet flows. It included SONET/SDH and packet switching, with optical transport an option (see box: A Brief History of P-OTS below).

Now SONET/SDH is declining whereas packet and optical continue to evolve, while operators want optimisation across the networking layers and be able to mix and match platforms controlled using software-defined networking (SDN). Little wonder, then, that the definition of P-OTS is becoming blurred.

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As data demand ramps ever higher, researchers are looking to innovative amplifier designs to help transport a broader light spectrum through optical fibres, finds Andy Extance

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Duncan Ellis shares his views about the increased focus on automation from network operators, and how the physical layer has so far stubbornly resisted the move

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Switching off copper networks where fibre has been deployed is the end game, so why are so few operators doing it, wonders Pauline Rigby

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With demand for fibre to the premises increasing, Keely Portway looks at the role training plays in ensuring installation skills remain available to meet this growing demand

Analysis and opinion