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Elastic and adaptive optical networks: possible adoption scenarios and future standardization aspects

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6 Author(s)

There is growing recognition that we are rapidly approaching the physical capacity limit of standard optical fiber. It is important to make better use of optical network resources to accommodate the ever-increasing traffic demand. One promising way is to introduce elasticity and adaptation into the optical domain through more flexible spectrum allocation, where the required minimum spectral resources are allocated adaptively based on traffic demand and network conditions. In this article, we discuss elastic and adaptive optical networks from the perspective of future standardization. We first overview the architecture, enabling technologies, and benefits of elastic and adaptive optical networks with the new concept of an optical corridor. We then present possible adoption scenarios from current rigid optical networks to elastic and adaptive optical networks. We discuss some possible study items that are relevant to the future standardization activities. These items include optical transport network architecture, structure and mapping of the optical transport unit, automatically switched optical network/generalized multiprotocol label switching control plane issues, and some physical aspects with possible extension of the current frequency grid.

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IEEE Communications Magazine  (Volume:49 ,  Issue: 10 )