Abstract

The recent interest in the upgrade and enhancements of metro transport networks and the availability of transponder cards with coherent receivers is opening the way to filterless solutions employing only passive splitters/couplers and optical amplifiers, potentially achieving significant capital expeditures and operating expenditures savings. However, the filterless option suffers from inefficiencies, mainly due to the broadcasting constraint and the reduced optical reach. To overcome such limitations, this paper proposes three complementary strategies to upgrade optical filterless metro networks (FMN). First, the number of supported channels is incremented by exploiting the full ${\rm C}{+}{\rm L}$-band. To this end, two design architectures (i.e., Single and Dual Region) are proposed and evaluated, targeting double capacity with respect to the standard C-band and an upgrade to cost reduction. Second, we investigate a dual-architecture solution, extending metro deployments with a low-cost filterless and unamplified L-band system. Its design trade-offs are evaluated to determine its suitability in providing direct low-latency connectivity between metro-access nodes with the aim of supporting edge-computing platforms. Finally, the flexibility of the FMN is extended by introducing disaggregated transponders with different bitrates (i.e., 100 Gbps and 400 Gbps) and configurable transmission parameters, such as the modulation format and the forward error correction). Such flexibility is exploited through the extension of the OpenConfig YANG model of the optical line system, thus enabling automatic spectrum and transmission parameter assignment by means of a centralized software-defined-network controller and achieving better resource utilization. Simulation and experimental results are provided, showing the effectiveness and the potential impact of filterless metro solutions in future deployments and low-cost network upgrades supporting edge/fog clusters and 5G.

© 2019 Optical Society of America

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