Universal Aggregation For Service Convergence: Residential, Mobility & Business (2021)

By Michael Ting Wang, Shaw Communications Inc.

Network operators must modernize their networks to support the growing demand for faster internet connections, mobile backhaul and fronthaul, and business services. Universal aggregation is a converged networking approach that uses a shared coherent Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) core with Internet Protocol (IP) routing and switching platforms.

As is the case for other Multiple-System Operators (MSOs), Shaw must remain competitive while striving to meet the intense challenges of delivering a better user experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has put increasing pressure on many operators and universal aggregation could prove to be a valuable tool for their current and post COVID-19 challenges. It provides the right speeds, footprint, aggregation, and automation capabilities with the ability to integrate Internet Protocol/Multi-Protocol Label Switching (IP/MPLS) with transport infrastructure.

This paper outlines Shaw’s work to provide universal aggregation under its modular, coherent DWDM platform while providing greater capacity and significant network cost reduction. The legacy approach to deploying multiple interconnected and complex platforms for each type of service—such as residential, mobility, and business—often results in increased operational cost and difficulty troubleshooting.

For operators, universal aggregation creates a smarter, simpler, and more agile network. Shaw’s universal aggregation network supports 100 Gigabits Ethernet (100GbE), Optical Transport Unit 4 (OTU4), 10Gigabits Ethernet (10GbE), and Optical Transport Unit 2/2e (OTU2/2e) over 100Gbps & 200Gbpswavelengths. It uses a Zero Touch Provisioning (ZTP) system that simplifies operations and allows Shaw engineers to automate most of the deployment tasks. Currently, its maximum bandwidth capacity is 1Terabit Per Second (Tbits/s) in a single rack unit at 224 watts. The paper will present a comprehensive overview of the implementation process and important considerations for the industry to replicate Shaw’s success.

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