ROADMs offer increased flexibility in optical networks and are becoming increasingly attractive to more network operators as economic and technical obstacles are overcome. However, RHK research indicates that few network operators’ deployment plans are firm, particularly outside North America. In general, operators see reconfigurability as an integral part of future extended-reach backbone builds. The economics of ROADM technology in the metro, however, are highly case-dependent and depend on SDH/SONET integration. The timing and sizing of extended-reach backbone ROADM deployments, therefore, hinges on the general LH DWDM market recovery, whereas metro deployments require that operators choose a new core network architecture. The extended-reach backbone market opportunity is less risky than the metro opportunity from a technology substitution perspective, but the metro opportunity, which hinges on ROADM products’ ability to incorporate SONET/SDH features and supplant standalone ADMs, offers a larger upside.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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