5G Challenges in the Optical Network Infrastructure

Customer expectations of next generation communications solutions include higher speeds, shorter latency, and shorter response times for not only the 5G radio links but also for the full end to end network itself.  While the optical back-haul network is expected to provide the needed bandwidth and support, new requirements are expected to be imposed on the front-haul network to support the 5G vision.

5G is designed to support – in a common network infrastructure – a variety of diverse applications spanning across enhanced mobile broadband, massive Internet of Things (IoT), and mission critical ultra-reliable and low latency machine-type communications. New applications, which demand low latency, will drive a significant change in the architecture of our telecommunication networks.  Those key 5G drivers will create new market opportunities for optical fiber communications and photonic networking systems.

The 5G Optics vertical is structured to create the space for key stakeholder to discuss the needed optical technologies that can be developed to meet the 5G vision and goals.  Two technical sessions will take place focusing on related topics such as:

  • Flexible front-haul network
  • High-port-count switching solutions
  • Radio over fiber

A plenary will provide the chance to discuss with key industry experts the opportunities and challenges of 5G in these domains.


Tom Strasser, Nistica, Founder and Chief Technology Officer

Tom Strasser co-founded Nistica in the fall of 2005. Prior to founding Nistica, Tom was Chief Technologist and Director of Intellectual Property at the optical networking startup Photuris. Tom’s experience ranges from knowledge of components to optical networks, including seven years as a technologist and manager in AT&T and Lucent Bell Labs.

He is a recognized technology leader in optical fiber communications, and served as the Technical Program Chair of OFC 2004 and General Chair of OFC/NFOEC 2006. Tom received a B.S. degree from Alfred University and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Materials Science and Engineering from Cornell University. During his graduate studies on periodic guided-wave devices, he worked at Eastman-Kodak Research Labs.

Tom is a national beer judge and can tell the “born-on-date” of beers without peeking at the labels.


Feras Abougalala

Tom Strasser