You are on page 1of 2

The Role of OTN:-

Telecommunication networks can be divided into two networks: service network and transport network. The
transport network provides paths to the service network, as so the service network can be seen as a client of
the transport network.

How does G.709 OTN work?

At a basic level, G.709 OTN defines a frame format that "wraps"

data packets, in a format quite similar to that of a SONET frame.
There are six distinct layers to this format.
OPU: Optical Channel Payload Unit. This contains the encapsulated
client data, and a header describing the type of that data. It is analogous to the Path layer in SONET/SDH.
ODU: Optical Data Unit. This level adds optical path-level monitoring, alarm indication signals and automatic
protection switching. It performs similar functions to the Line Overhead in SONET/SDH.
OTU: Optical Transport Unit. This represents a physical optical port (such as OTU2, 10Gbps), and adds
performance monitoring (for the optical layer) and the FEC (Forward Error Correction). It is similar to the
Section Overhead in SONET/SDH.
OCh: Optical Channel. This represents an end-to-end optical path.
OMS: Optical Multiplex Section. This deals with fixed wavelength DWDM (Dense Wavelength Division
Multiplexing) between OADMs (Optical Add Drop Multiplexer).
OTS: Optical Transport Section. This deals with fixed wavelength DWDM between relays.

Functions of DWDM
The system performs the following main functions:
Generating the signalThe source, a solid-state
laser, must provide stable light within a specific, narrow
bandwidth that carries the digital data, modulated as an
analog signal.
Combining the signalsModern DWDM systems
employ multiplexers to combine the signals.
There is some inherent loss associated with
multiplexing and demultiplexing. This loss is dependent
upon the number of channels but can be mitigated with
optical amplifiers, which boost all the wavelengths at once without electrical conversion.
Transmitting the signalsThe effects of crosstalk and optical signal degradation or loss must be rec koned
with in fiber optic transmission. These effects can be minimized by controlling variables such as channel
spacings, wavelength tolerance, and laser power levels. Over a transmission link,the signal may need to be
optically amplified.
Separating the received signalsAt the receiving end, the multiplexed signals must be separated out.
Although this task would appear to be simply the opposite of combining the signals, it is actually more
technically difficult.
Receiving the signalsThe demultiplexed signal is received by a photodetector.
In addition to these functions, a DWDM system must also be equipped with client -side interfaces to receive the
input signal. This function is performed by transponders. On the DWDM side are interfaces to the optical fib er
that links DWDM systems

ROADM - Re-configurable optical add-drop multiplexer

A ROADM is an all-optical subsystem that enables remote configuration of wavelengths at any node. It is
software-provisionable so that a network operator can choose whether a wavelength is added, dropped, or
passed through the node. The technologies used include wavelength blocking, planar lightwave circuit (PLC),
and wavelength selective switching (WSS) though the WSS has become the dominant technology. A ROADM
system is a metro/regional WDM or long-haul DWDM system that includes a ROADM subsystem.

ROADMs are often talked about in terms of degrees of switching, ranging from a minimum of two to as many as
eight degrees, and occasionally more than eight degrees. A degree is another term for a switching direction and
is generally associated with a transmission fiber pair. A two-degree ROADM switches in two directions, typically
called East and West. A four-degree ROADM switches in four directions, typically called North, South, East, and
West. In a WSS-based ROADM network, each degree requires an additional WSS switching element. So, as the
directions switched at a node increase, the node's cost increases linearly.
A 4 degree ROADM is shown in the picture. The practical
implementations of ROADMs are in mesh architecture
where it is required to switch Lamdas from one direction to
different direction without any physical intervention. The key
ROADM capabilities are:
Color independent, or "colorless," functionality
Direction independent, or "directionless,"
Wavelength contention-free, or "contentionless,"

It is important to note that ROADM is a subset of OTN and

not replacement of OTN. There are two types of switching
one can have in the network. It can be typically done at
Electrical Layer or at Optical Layer. In terms of electrical
switching one can configure service level requirements whereas in the optical switching entire lambda carrying
the services is switched. Most of the vendors have boxes that support both OTN as well as ROADM cards.
Below are practical issues that are encountered while deploying OTN based implementation on ROADMs: -
1. Insertion Loss: - The average insertion loss of ROADM ranges from 5 dB to 9 dB for Add ports from
OEM to OEM and it is more than 10dB for Drop ports. Due to this, a ROADM based implementation
mandates the need of amplifiers with every ROADM card.
2. Sub-Lambda Grooming :- In terms of ROADM based deployment, it is not possible to do a sub-lambda
grooming due to which effective utilization of the network resources is affected. Since ROADM
translates every client mapped towards line side usually in 1:1 mode, it is not possible to groom multiple
clients which are required to be carried over the same line coming from different directions/ cards.
3. Higher Space Requirement: - For a ROADM implementation, sites are categorized into degrees.
Depending upon the degree of direction one side is connection, ROADM cards are implemented. For
example- For a 8 degree site, we need to have 8 ROADM cards, which load the rack space requirement
and loads the site OPEX requirements.
4. Power Consumption: - As the degree of the site goes up, the no. of ROADM cards required are higher.
Considering an average power of 40W per card, an eight degree site will end up adding 320W additional
power for the cards. As we add up active elements in the network, we bring more vulnerability in it.

The switching based on ROADM can be considered as OOO (optical-optical-optical) switching in a pure DWDM
implementation whereas a OTN cross connect based switching over DWDM can be referred to as OEO (Optical-
electrical-optical). An OEO switch can easily separate out a part of a signal and so adding or dropping a part of
the wavelength is easily accomplished. In an OOO switch, this can be done only if the different parts of the
signal are different in some optical characteristics, such as time (slots), frequency, phase, or polarization. On
the other hand, an OOO switch can switch a multi-wavelength signal as easily as a single wavelength provided
the optical components are properly designed. OEO switches will require separate circu its to handle each of the
wavelengths and would be very costly for the large number of wavelengths that can be accommodated in a

Not only this, In terms of performance monitoring, OOO switches are bit rate and format independent and so
cannot easily see bit errors (which are basically rate or format errors). OOO switches monitor optical defects
such as wavelength shifts, optical signal to noise ratios, or power levels. These de fects also result in bit errors
but not all bit errors are visible to optical monitors. To monitor electric al signal, OOO switches provide optional
electrical monitoring. In OEO switches, the cost of monitoring is already built in since they have to verify the
data rate and format before they can switch the signal.