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A large advanced optical network was assembled and operated in the field, featuring access, metropolitan, and core optical networks with advanced functionality and technology in all parts of the network. It demonstrates the reliability and viability of photonic technologies, and management functions in a trial representative of a global network infrastructure. The core network is a transparent all-optical meshed network with wavelength crossconnects partly 2R-regenerating, operating at 2.5 and 10 Gb/s, and supporting various protection schemes including 1:N shared OCH protection. The metropolitan network is a ring composed of OADMs supporting OMS protection. The interconnection to the SuperPON access network is made through an ATM switch. The ATM-based SuperPON supports a dynamic medium access control (MAC) protocol. For the first time, a 10 Gb/s wavelength-converted connection was demonstrated in the field in a transparent all-optical managed network. The field trial has demonstrated many points of progress as compared to the previous state of the art: cascadability experiments in a real network with reasonable distances and low compensation, various node functions, interworking of various equipment types, new optical protection, and dynamic MAC protocol. The (transport) TMN/Q3 integrated management system played an important role to achieve the network experiments: it allowed us to provision and reconfigure the end-to-end optical paths very quickly (<3 s) from the centralized management platform. This trial is also the first one representative of an advanced global optical network infrastructure including core, metro, and access networks, supporting end-to-end multimedia services. This article reports the project results before the field deployment which took place in April 2000.