Liquid OTN paves the way for next-generation optical transmission technologies. It provides fine-grained, on-demand bandwidth resources for premium private lines by using flexible small-granularity containers. It adapts to market requirements with flexibility, efficiency, and simplicity, supporting the digital transformation of government and enterprise services. In addition to ensuring a superb experience, it also lowers the price of premium private lines, making them more accessible to users.
By Du Kun & Gao Hongjun, Transmission & Access Product Line of Huawei
As 5G develops, the digital transformation of industries accelerates, bringing together the balanced development of the ICT industry and the digital economy. Enterprises in industries such as finance, government, healthcare, and education are reshaping their operation and business models. Such customers, particularly big companies and government customers that operate sensitive services and mission-critical applications, have increasing demands for private lines. This encourages network operators around the world to expand their presence in the 2B market.
Private Line Requirements Vary Across Industries
The following table lists the private line requirements across typical scenarios based on market surveys and the application requirements, deployment costs, and technologies of each industry.
The table shows that enterprise customers prioritize the quality of private lines and require differentiated SLAs, stable and secure networks, flexible service packages, lower costs, and faster services. For example, security and reliability are most important for government customers and those in the finance and securities industries. Some customers clearly require physical isolation and hard pipes. Securities trading firms highly value low latency and are willing to pay for high quality. For example, in order to reduce the latency from 4.6 ms to 0.63 ms, futures trading firms are willing to pay Shanghai Telecom a price eight times of the normal price. In contrast, a large number of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are more sensitive to price. In summary, fast provisioning (within 1 to 2 days), elastic bandwidth, and an online self-service function are common demands of all enterprises.
Calling for the Next-Generation Optical Transmission Technologies
Existing private line transmission technologies suffer from limitations.
These technologies vary in service granularities and port types, resulting in complex network architecture, difficult network interworking, and inefficient O&M. Furthermore, the high cost of premium OTN/WDM private lines dampens the market demand, particularly the demand for bandwidth of 100 Mbit/s or higher. However, the potential demand for premium private lines featuring hard pipes, low latency, high availability, and high security is huge, especially among government and finance customers as well as big enterprise customers. Additionally, SMEs also need to increase their bandwidth, but eventually choose private line solutions of smaller granularities due to the high costs. Optical networks, as a core part of bearer networks, are evolving from infrastructure networks to service transmission networks, and they need upgrading to meet the demand of enterprise customers.
Huawei's Liquid OTN Promotes the Popularity of OTN Premium Private Lines
As an important global partner, Huawei is committed to building a world-leading all-optical network solution and working with upstream and downstream players to promote the prosperity of the optical network industry. For this purpose, Huawei launched the next-generation Liquid OTN solution, which inherits the advantages of OTN/WDM hard pipes and defines smaller bandwidth granularities to meet the market demand for small-bandwidth, high-quality, and affordable private lines. This will bring private lines to more customers in more industries.
Bringing a Quality Experience to Every Industry and Accelerating Business Innovation for Liquid OTN
As the cornerstone of the global digital economy, all-optical networks will extend to more and more industries. As a key technology, Liquid OTN is gaining wide recognition in the industry. In December 2019, the China Communications Standards Association (CCSA) approved investment of this next-generation OTN standard. In February 2020, China Mobile and Huawei successfully completed the industry's first Liquid OTN pilot project on the metro network in Qingdao, Shandong.
In the future, Huawei will continue to build world-leading solutions, accelerate innovation of Liquid OTN, and bring affordable premium private lines to every industry to help operators maximize their business values and promote the development of all-optical network ecosystem.