US, European Tier 1 operators join with Infinera for Open XR Forum 

Created June 10, 2021
News and Business

The Open XR Forum has been launched with initial members including Verizon, Lumen Technologies, Windstream, Liberty Global, BT and Infinera. Open XR Forum is a consortium of network operators, equipment vendors and component vendors committed to building the foundation for a new generation of coherent optical solutions that enable seamless interconnectivity across multiple generations and support point-to-point and point-to-multipoint applications.

Infinera’s XR Optics technology, which won the ECOC 2020 award for the most innovative product, is, says Infinera, the industry’s first coherent optical solution that can solve the challenges faced by network operators caused by the misalignment between network traffic patterns and the technology used to transport that traffic.

The company says the significant growth in bandwidth driven by 5G, high-speed broadband and cloud-based services continues to put substantial pressure on network operators to keep up with demand. XR optics provides a solution that can dramatically simplify network architectures, reduce operating costs, and enable a dynamic and on-demand capacity allocation while paving the way for a network architecture that is compatible across multiple generations of optical technologies. Network operator studies have demonstrated that XR optics can provide a reduction in total cost of ownership by as much as 70%.

Dr. Dave Welch, founder and chief innovation officer at Infinera (pictured) said, “We’re excited to introduce the revolutionary concept of coherent subcarrier aggregation, one that will redefine the cost structure of next-generation transport networks. XR optics addresses a fundamental deficiency in optical communications technology and is expected to have a significant impact on any network that implements an aggregation function.”

Art Nichols, vice president Network Architecture and Technology at Windstream commented, “As part of Windstream’s strategy to pioneer advanced networking solutions, we look forward to being at the forefront of bringing XR optics to market. XR optics has the potential to transform our access network through radical CapEx and OpEx cost reductions and seamless site upgrades while setting a clear evolution path to 800G pluggables.  We are proud to be one of the founding members of the Open XR Forum and look forward to applying the same engineering passion and innovative experience that helped make Windstream a proven leader in optical networking to this consortium.”

Launched at ECOC 2019, the technology has undergone trials with NBN, Australia’s wholesale open-access broadband provider, and in May 2021, launched a range of ICE-XR pluggables which support a range of transport rates, including 100G, 400G, and 800G.

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This article was written
by Peter Dykes

Peter Dykes is a independent telecoms and technology journalist who has over that last 30 years written for a wide range of B2B publications and companies. A former BT engineer, he specialises in networks and associated support systems. He is currently Editor of Optical Connections.