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Industry Leaders Standardize Transceiver Tunability for 5G Networks

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To support the growing demand for high-capacity 5G and next-generation mobile networks, Lumentum Holdings Inc. and II-VI Inc. have launched the SmartTunable Multi-Source Agreement (MSA) group. The group aims to establish standards for the self-tuning algorithms used in wavelength-tunable transceivers. It intends to provide a technical framework for allowing customers to multisource wavelength-tunable transceivers with compatible self-tuning optics (STO) functions.

A standard self-tuning feature for full-band, dense-wavelength-division-multiplexing (DWDM) optical transceivers will allow products from different vendors to interoperate, facilitating the scale-up to 5G fronthaul applications.

In addition to allowing customers to source from multiple suppliers, the creation of a plug-and-play, self-tunable feature for transceivers will simplify network installation and operation. Self-tunable DWDM pluggables will eliminate the need for labeling or tracking fibers, reducing the overall operational cost for service providers.

Unlike fixed-wavelength transceivers, tunable transceivers will require only a single part number, which could make forecasting and inventory management easier for businesses. The self-tuning functionality will not require new integration; it can be enabled or disabled on a system-by-system basis.

“With the SmartTunable MSA, 5G mobile service providers will be able to better optimize their network architectures with easy-to-integrate, cost-effective, and automated optical networking solutions,” said Justin Abbott, Lumentum’s director of product line management, telecom transmission. “This development should also accelerate the expansion of 5G network infrastructure by enabling more network automation, which results in less technician time in the field and lower ongoing network operating costs.”

Earlier this year, the group’s founding members engaged in a public bidding war to acquire laser manufacturer Coherent. II-VI ultimately acquired Coherent in March.

Photonics Spectra
Dec 2021
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