The optical transport network industry is at a crossroads. The technology trends that are impacting networks in 2023 present both opportunities and challenges for operators. With 5G and other new technologies, comes the need to revisit the way networks are designed and operated, to allow for flexibility and agility when meeting capacity growth demands. The move to Open and Disaggregated Networking is accelerating as a response to these needs.
At the same time, transport network operators must be mindful of key challenges in the supply chain of traditional network plants as well as new partner relationships and team education requirements due to rapidly evolving technology. Finding the necessary workforce to facilitate build-out and future growth will require innovative partnership models.
On the plus side, routed optical networking can provide metro and middle mile needs with more favorable revenue potential. Delivery will continue to be a key buying factor for end users, and customers who have multi-vendor capabilities will have a strategic advantage.
Automation of operations is another key trend that should be kept top of mind in 2023. As the network grows, automation can help to maintain customer satisfaction with minimal staffing increases. Moreover, the miniaturization of high speed coherent optics is changing the design and cost models of metro networks, offering transport network operators new opportunities for monetization.
Overall, there are many exciting trends ahead for transport networks in 2023 — and it’s important for optical transport network operators to keep up with these changes to take full advantage of their potential. With a focus on technology evolution, flexibility and agility and innovative partnerships, operators can ensure that their networks remain competitive in the future.