5G Challenges in the Optical Network Infrastructure 2018

Date: Tuesday July 10
Time: 11:00 – 4:00
Room: Bayshore East

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.


Time Speaker  Affiliation Topic
11:00-11:30 Paul Littlewood Ciena Reimagining the Edge with 5G: A closer look at traffic patterns
11:30-12:00 Ron Johnson  Cisco Systems 5G Implications to Transport
12:00-12:30 Tom Strasser Nistica Cost Effective Programmable Optics Enable Manageable, Scalable 5G Networks
12:30-13:00 Jim Zou ADVA Optical Networking
13:00-14:00 Lunch
14:00-16:00 Speaker Panel


Paul Littlewood is a Principal Engineer in the office of the Chief Technology Officer.  His current areas of study include the impact of next generation wireless and wired network convergence on network traffic and the consequent need for network modernization.

Previously Paul has researched network architecture evolution, and has led product management and engineering teams in building optical transport and digital cross connect systems.  He has also led in the definition and development of multiple network technologies including Carrier Ethernet, Resilient Packet Rings and multi-layer control.

Paul has seven patents granted and has written a number of papers on optical networking.  He has an Honours Degree in Pure Physics from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in Great Britain.

Talk title: Reimagining the Edge with 5G: A closer look at traffic patterns 

Ron Johnson, Cisco Systems, Senior Director of Architecture and Product Management

Ron Johnson manages Cisco’s optical portfolio and the integration of IP and Optical.  He has held this position for 11 years and has worked with Cisco’s optical group for more than 18 years.  He holds multiple patents related to Cisco’s product offerings.  Ron’s team is responsible for recent innovation and integration in DWDM, Packet and TDM technologies.

Ron has been in telecom for the last 21 years.  Starting out in Pacific Bell/SBC where he obtained a large carrier operational perspective that has found it’s way into Cisco’s IP+Optical portfolio.

Talk title: 5G Implications to Transport 

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.

Talk title: Cost Effective Programmable Optics Enable Manageable, Scalable 5G Networks

Jim Zou, ADVA Optical Networking SE, Senior Engineer Advanced Technology

Dr. Jim Zou received his B.Eng. degree in communication and information engineering and M.Sc. degree in electrical circuits and systems from Shanghai University, China, in 2008 and 2011, respectively. In 2015, He received the PhD degree from the Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands, where he conducted the research work with Electro-Optical Communication group of COBRA research institute in the area of broadband indoor fiber-wireless networks. His work focused on the enhancement of network flexibility and capacity in order to support future indoor communication needs. Since January 2016, Dr. Zou is with ADVA Optical Networking SE (Germany) in the Advanced Technology group, participating in various EU FP7 and Horizon 2020 research projects such as COMBO, 5G-XHaul, iCirrus, and also leading the internal prototype development related to the next generation optical access.


Reimagining the Edge with 5G; a closer look at future traffic patterns: 5G promises access to connectivity anywhere and anytime, to anyone and anything as it expands beyond human centric communications to include connected machines. User patterns envisioned with 5G will be pervasive beyond just the wireless technology, reaching into virtually all aspects of networking. A vital element of change is the dynamicity these applications will demand of the network to support significantly large variety of connectivity modes and service variances required. The commonplace ‘core-to-user’ dominant traffic patterns exhibited in today’s networks will become more balanced and be supplemented by demanding ‘user-to-user’ traffic requiring more comprehensive mesh interconnection of network resources. This talk will elaborate on the traffic characteristics, explain implications for the network, and describe changes needed to the transport layer to support this dynamic service environment.

5G Implications to Transport:  While it is true that the introduction of 5G will require that the network support more bandwidth which will in turn mean that the transport network requires more capacity, it is true that 5G is much more about systems level enhancements that push forward a different type of end-to-end architecture. This presentation surveys those new capabilities in 5G so that we can extract implications for the optical transport architecture across the RAN (fronthaul and midhaul) and into the wide area network (network slicing and enterprise services).

Cost Effective Programmable Optics Enable Manageable, Scalable 5G Networks: Recent generations of wireless networks have driven fiber optic network solutions closer to the cell tower to achieve higher bandwidth, lower cost and more reliable network solutions. It should be anticipated that with 5G networks this trend will continue to evolve further, with more optical solutions and fiber optic content than any preceding generation of solution. This talk will review what functionality of programmable optics will make these networks more operationally scalable while delivering the higher bandwidth, reliability, lower latency and increased cell tower density needed to support 5G networks. The optimum solutions will require programmable optics solutions that are delivered in higher volumes and much lower cost point that the existing solutions in core/WAN networks today.


Feras Abougalala

Tom Strasser

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