Vodafone Spain shows off Facebook's optical tech

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Vodafone Spain has held a live demonstration of the Facebook-designed Voyager optical technology that it said can improve the quality and consistency of fibre networks.

The operator said it was working with Facebook as part of the social network's Telecom Infra Project and that it wanted to help develop open, scalable and cost-effective architecture.

Voyager combines packet-switching and dense wavelength division multiplexing technology for both metropolitan and long-haul fibre optical transport networks.

By separating software and hardware and using open specifications, Vodafone said any vendor can modify it with additional components or add new features.

The trial in Spain used a network operating system from Cumulus Networks, NetOS SDN orchestration from Zeetta Networks, and ADVA's supporting platform. It aimed to show how Voyager can be rolled into an existing optical network and deliver 800GBps of capacity per rack unit.

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Santiago Tenorio, Vodafone’s Group Head of Networks Strategy and Architecture, said:  "We wanted to show how Voyager's variable-rate transceivers can be used to match speeds and modulation formats with actual line conditions.

"Thanks to a streamlined network operating system and SDN automation, we showed how our live network can set up optical services and keep them running, reduce unnecessary and lengthy customer service interruptions, and improve network utilisation."

Last year, Vodafone worked with Telefónica in exploring how Facebook's OpenCellular open-source wireless access platform could connect remote parts of a country.

Trials in South Africa were expected to take place this year, before a rollout across the wider continent.