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This paper describes recent technical challenges and the progress toward the realization of the optical transport network (OTN) based on 43 Gb/s channel. We describe the new digital frame format "OTU3: Optical Channel Transport Unit 3," which is standardized in ITU-T for OTN, for the enhancement of the network management capability in the OTN based on 43-Gb/s channels. We first proposed 43-Gb/s/ch dense wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM) dispersion-managed transmission system using carrier-suppressed return-to-zero (CS-RZ) format that has several attractive features; it advances the evolution of OTN into 100 GHz-spaced long-haul DWDM transport networks. The first wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) field trials confirmed the superiority of CS-RZ format in the DWDM transmission performance for the first time. The first 1 Tb/s (25 × 43 Gb/s) WDM field trial confirmed the excellent network management capability of OTU3 in future data-centric OTN using the newly developed 43-Gb/s OTN line-terminal prototype.