Telecom Italia’s over-arching strategy is a single aggregation network for both fixed + mobile and packet + TDM traffic, and sees a connection-oriented network optimised for packet-based traffic and transport of high quality TDM traffic as the best way to achieve that.
With a great number of elderly SDH/NG-SDH nodes in its metro-regional network, Telecom Italia started a program 2 years ago to define a new target architecture and has eventually chosen a pre-standard MPLS-TP “hybrid” packet/circuit architecture. This is optimised for packet transport, but also handling native TDM traffic since TI is still seeing increasing demand for TDM services (albeit at a slower growth than packet).
A particular driving requirement is equipment footprint due to constraints in facility floorspace, and in some cases there are many 2 Mbit/s circuits to be carried over from old SDH nodes. TI will deploy a multi-vendor architecture, in several homogeneous domains, which fits well with its historical procurement strategy and network structure.
Addtional requirements include SDH-like OAM functions for fault localisation and performance monitoring, SDH-like fast protection mechanisms for traffic with high availability requirements (i.e. legacy TDM), and transport of synchronization (supporting both Synchronous Ethernet and IEEE 1588 v2). In the initial phase of deployment, interconnection with the existing OPM (Optical Packet Metro) is achieved using simple VLANs and there is no need for control plane functionality.
With Telecom Italia continuing to see a fast increase in packet traffic and still some requests for TDM services, the carrier is committed to continuing to support the evolution of MPLS-TP technology standards (both ITU-T based and jointly ITU-T and IETF based).
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