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Nokia installs optical transport system for NL-ix in fast backbone operation

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POPs backbone as it strives to be world's biggest Internet Exchange

Nokia is installing an optical transport network for NL-ix, Europe’s largest distributed internet exchange in Holland. Meanwhile, in Italy, it is helping researchers at TIM Group’s Turin labs to re-engineer fibre optics and boost performance up to 25 Gbps.

In the Netherlands, Nokia’s new metro access and backbone transport combination should move multi-terabits of traffic along optical links running between NL-ix’s European points of presence (POPs). 

“NL-ix is growing fast and becoming one of the largest internet exchanges in the world,” said Mark Vanderhaegen, director of webscale accounts at Nokia.

The new optical layer will run over NL-ix’s meshed interconnection fabric and aims to provide a painless growth as client services ramp up from 1 Gigabit per second to 400 Gbps. NL-ix should save on operating expenses and capital expenditure as the streamlined service operation obviates the need for more kit purchases, said Nokia. 

The optical network will use Nokia's 1830 Photonic Service Switch and the PSI-M photonic service interconnect – modular family of WDM/OTN platforms, which is powered by its PSE-3s (photonic service engine) DSP technology.

Nokia is preferred option for backbone

“With NL-ix committed to delivering high-capacity pan-European optical links, Nokia is our preferred choice,” said Jan Paul Dekker, CTO at NL-ix.  

As European mobile operators perform exercises to liven up their optical backbones, the adaptability of their joints (such as the switches and signalling units) will be critical. Nokia claims its Wave Fabric could be the key to coaxing better performances from networks. By offering programmable comms systems it gives engineers the option to tailor the optical equipment around the ‘bumps and curves’ that give each application their own unique ‘body shape’. Every app has a recognisable ‘footprint’ and Wave Fabric can tailor the right response around it, it says.

This ‘fit for purpose’ quality is being exploited in Turin, where Nokia’s Optical Line Terminator equipment is being used by TIM Group creatives to coax faster performances from fibre. 

In tests conducted by the TIM Group a mix of GPON, XGS-PON and 25GS-PON technologies were used simultaneously in a bid to aggregate their throughput. If they could run concurrently, then the collective bandwidth could transport data at 25 Gbps, according to TIM Group’s networking engineers 

Aggregating bandwidth 

The bandwidth capacity of the 25GS-PON system and its ability to co-exist on the same optical fibre with existing technologies were cornerstones of the research into capacity building. Compatibility with GPON (with a potential download capacity of 2.5Gbps) and XGS-PON (potential capacity: 10Gbps) were the crucial qualities needed and both tests gave positive indications that all three can be aggregated. 

The new combination, based on 25GS-PON technology, makes the best possible use of the physical characteristics of optical fibre, according to a TIM Group statement. It would enable downloads to run at ten times the speed of today’s FTTH GPON (Gigabit Passive Optical Networks).

“The modularity of Nokia’s next-generation optical transport solutions enables us to adapt and respond quickly to market demand and provide an even better quality of service and connectivity experiences for our customers,” said NL-ix CTO Dekker.