Ericsson and Ciena partner on IP-over-WDM and Transport SDN

Created March 11, 2014
News and Business

Ericsson and Ciena have signed a global strategic agreement that provides Ericsson with Ciena’s optical networking technology, while Ciena benefits from Ericsson’s broad service provider relationships. 

In particular, Ciena’s WaveLogic coherent optical processor will be integrated into a module and added to Ericsson’s Smart Service Routers, while Ericsson will resell Ciena’s 6500 Packet-Optical Platform and 5400 Reconfigurable Switching Systems. 
Both companies will also collaborate in developing software-defined networking (SDN) in the wide-area network. 
Ericsson says the IP market will reach US $15 billion (€10.8bn) and optical networking $10 billion (€7.2bn) in 2014. Ericsson says the two markets are not independent and that IP-over-WDM will grow rapidly, accounting for over 30 percent of the total market by 2020. 
Ericsson and Ciena both highlight the significant changes taking place in the network, namely network functions virtualisation (NFV) and SDN, as another reason for the tie-up. 
NFV turns telecom functions that previously required dedicated platforms into software that is virtualised and executed on servers. NFV promises to bring to telecom the benefits of IT and cloud computing, enabling operators to introduce services more quickly and scale them on demand. 
SDN, meanwhile, not only oversees such virtualised services, but also oversees the network layers over which they run. This is where IP-over-WDM plays a role and why the two companies are collaborating on Transport SDN.
Ciena also highlights Ericsson’s strength in operations and business support systems (OSS/BSS) and notes that the transition to SDN will be gradual. “That evolution is going to have to take into account OSS/BSS technologies and having a partner that is strong in that area will help us both,” said Tom Mock, senior vice president, corporate communications at Ciena.    
Ciena’s optical infrastructure and Ericsson’s service-provider SDN and IP portfolio will result in a competitive combination, says Ericsson. 
“Combining the two network layers and jointly making sure that the control protocol optimises the traffic network will lead to capex and opex savings,” said Jan Häglund, Ericsson’s vice president, head of IP and broadband, in a company webcast announcing the deal.
By Roy Rubenstein
See Also: 

Press release: Ciena Announces Strategic Global Agreement with Ericsson
Gazettabyte: Ericsson and Ciena collaborate on IP-over-WDM and SDN


This article was written
by Roy Rubenstein

is the editor of and has been researching and writing about the telecom and semiconductor industries for over 20 years.