One of the most complicated factors of coordinating work of multiple
organizations in the area of OTNT are the differences in terminology.
Often multiple different groups are utilising the same terms with
different definitions. This section includes definitions relevant to this document.
See Annex A for more information on how common terms are used in
1. Optical Transport Networks & Technologies (OTNT)
The transmission of information over optical media in a systematic manner is
an optical transport network. The optical transport network consists of the networking
capabilities and the technology required to support them. For the purposes of this standardization
and work plan, all new
optical transport networking functionality and the related technologies
will be considered as part of the OTNT Standardization Work Plan.
The focus will be the transport and networking of digital payloads
over fiber optic cables.
Though established optical transport mechanisms such Synchronous
Digital Hierarchy (SDH) may fall within this broad definition, only
standardization efforts relating to new networking functionality of SDH
will be actively considered as part of this Lead Study Group activity.
2. Optical Transport Network (OTN)
An Optical Transport Network (OTN) is composed of a set of Optical Network Elements connected by optical
fibre links, able to provide functionality of transport, multiplexing,
routing, management, supervision and survivability of optical channels
carrying client signals, according to the requirements given in
A distinguishing characteristic of
the OTN is its provision of transport for any digital signal independent
of client-specific aspects, i.e. client independence. As such, according
to the general functional modeling described in Recommendation G.805, the
OTN boundary is placed across the Optical Channel/Client adaptation, in a
way to include the server specific processes and leaving out the client
specific processes, as shown in Figure 2-1.
- The client specific processes related to Optical Channel/Client
adaptation are described within Recommendation G.709.
FIGURE 2-1/OTNT: Boundary Of An Optical Transport Network And
3. Metropolitan Optical Network (MON)
A metropolitan optical network is a
network subset, often without significant differentiation or boundaries.
Therefore an explicit definition is under study.
As a result, this section offers more of a description than a formal
definition for those who wish to better understand what is commonly meant by
“metropolitan optical networks.”
While the existence of metropolitan networks is longstanding, the need for
identification of these networks as distinct from the long haul networks in
general, as well as the enterprise and access networks is recent.
The bandwidth requirements from the end customers have been
increasing substantially and many are implementing high bandwidth optical
access connections. The
resulting congestion and complexity has created a growing demand for higher
bandwidth interfaces for inter office solutions.
This aggregation of end customer traffic comprises a Metropolitan
Optical Network (MON). MONs now
have the technology to be optical based and thus, in theory, use the same
technology over the fibres as other portions of the network.
However, this is not always the case as there are various market
forces that drive which technologies will be deployed in which part of the
network.As a result, it is
appropriate to describe the MON in a way that is agnostic to the various
technology approaches.In spite
of the many similarities, there are several distinctions between
metropolitan and long haul optical networks (LHONs) that result from the
aggregation of traffic from enterprise to metro to long haul networks as
shown in Figure 3-1.
While there are many combinations of technologies that can be used in MONs, the following are common examples:
- The first distinction is that MONs are inherently designed for short
to medium length distances in metropolitan areas.That is, typically, within the limits of a single optical span and
often less than 200km distance.As
a result, topics such as signal regeneration, in-line amplification and
error correction are of lesser importance than in LHONs.
- Secondly, the driving requirement for MONs is maximized coverage
commensurate with low cost connectivity (as opposed to grooming for
performance with LHONs). As a
result, for example, standardization focuses on the adaptation of local area
network technologies to be effectively managed by service providers, on
‘insertion loss’ amplification to recover from all the connection
points, and on ring deployment to leverage existing fibre plant.
Another key difference is that of service velocity. The demand for
fast provisioning results in the circuit churn rate being generally higher
in MONs than LHON. That combined with the wider variety of client signals is a key driver for
flexible aggregation (e.g., 100Mb-1Gb rate, all 8B/10B formats with one
- A final distinction is that in the MON there are service requirements
(e.g., bandwidth-on-demand services, and multiple classes-of-services) that
lead to further topology and technical considerations that are not a
priority for LHONs.