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13 September 2011


Now in its sixth year, ECOC’s Market Focus forum is bigger and better than ever before, say the show organisers. A look at the schedule for the event indicates what are going to be the major topics of discussion for ECOC this year.


Top of the list is 100G.  The big challenge for 100Gbps and higher rate systems is the efficient and cost-effective design of the transponders. Complex, highly integrated components are needed and the use of coherent detection creates additional complexity in electronics too.  Should equipment vendors build or buy optical transceivers?  That’s one of the key questions that Oclaro will attempt to address in the first session.  Other speakers, including Ericcson and NEL America, will consider advances in optical integration and modulation schemes for future transmission rates.
Evolving network architectures are the second big trend that will be discussed.  While many established vendors have been developing automation for networks based on reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexers (ROADMs), this isn’t the only way forward.  Huawei will present its work on optical burst switching, and Google will be discussing several options for a totally programmable network to connect its massive data centres.
Then there’s Infinera, a company that stands apart in promoting “digital” transport, which will presumably be talking about the big announcement that’s going out just after this article goes live, but before the company’s presentation on Tuesday... 
Fibre-to-the-home gets a mention, with the FTTH Council Europe delivering the latest FTTH Market Forecast and the figures for fibre-connected homes in Europe, as well as an analysis of the economics of deploying new fibre access networks.  In addition, Deutsche Telekom will be talking about how the uptake of Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile broadband could affect the access and backhaul networks.
Test and measurement is the surprise hot topic for this year.  New techniques are being developed to test the new components developed for 100Gbps and beyond, while at the other extreme, system level emulation helps network builders have confidence that their system can carry the traffic for which it is designed. Speakers include Ixia and Optametra (now part of Tektronix).
The Market Focus takes place in a presentation area within the exhibition area, and is free of charge to exhibition attendees.  For times and schedule, please see the links below.
By Pauline Rigby