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In this article, we first identify that network service providers are facing an explosion in the volume of traffic and a decrease in revenues from network services due to the penetration of diversified services. We also show that we are moving to a new paradigm in optical communications, and toward networks able to resolve these issues in a cost-effective and prompt manner. Optical networks are common transport networks for all service networks, and therefore we are expecting future research and development (R&D) of optical communications and networks toward the new paradigm. As described in the first section, the amount of traffic traversing over network service provider networks is increasing continuously and steadily, and we expect that R&D activities will continue to open up new avenues to allow us to extend the capability of optical transmission in a cost-effective manner. In addition, as men-tioned earlier, we are focusing on the optimization of network protocols and node system functions to reduce the CapEx and OpEx. Therefore, investigating the optimization and convergence of the optical and other layers including SDN, and their management technologies is important to actualize the new paradigm.