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- HKSTP and ITU-T Experts Join Hands to Promote the Formulation of Global Optical Industry Standards and Intelligent Development at the Symposium on Intelligent Optical Transport Networks
(Hong Kong, 3 January 2023) - During the interim meeting of the Study Group 15 (“SG15”) of the International Telecommunication Union – Telecommunication Standardization Sector (“ITU-T”), a group of ITU-T experts gathered at Hong Kong Science Park on 20 September 2023 to hold a symposium on intelligent optical transport networks. Its discussions revolved around the network architecture and management & control technologies in optical communications, in a bid to develop international standards and guide the intelligent evolution of optical transport networks (“OTNs”). Themed “Intelligent Optical Transport Network in the F5G Era”, the event invited more than 150 international standard experts as well as the educators, researchers and industry leaders in Hong Kong, to discuss the latest research and technology development of optical network standardization and intelligent optical transport and to envisage the future of OTNs.
Mr Oscar Wong, Head of Business Development, said, “At HKSTP, we highly value world-class facilities to support microelectronics R&D projects, such as Sensor Lab and Heterogeneous Integration (HI) Lab, as well as the critical capabilities of our partner companies that dedicate themselves to crafting new optical transmission solutions in data transmission and data generation in the IoT for real-world challenges. The advancement has made optical transport network a huge opportunity for Hong Kong to showcase our growing world-class research and innovation expertise, while optical network is also key to the city’s thriving long-term digital economy.”
Mr Glenn Parsons, Chair of ITU-T SG15, said, “SG15 is closely related to people’s work and life. Transport networks offer highly reliable transport capacity for 5G, while short-haul access networks bring Internet services directly to every family. ITU-T SG15 values that its work is driven by industry requirements, and keeps working to provide technologies to meet market demands and thereby bring better services to customers. Standards aim to build interconnection capabilities and shape the industry vision. The widespread engagement of industry and academia in SG15 has allowed the continuous improvement of optical fiber communication technologies and the development of market relevant standards by SG15” Mr. Parsons also expressed his gratitude for hosting this ITU-T symposium in Hong Kong, “The emergence of intelligent management and control technologies enables more accurate network planning, more deterministic user experience, and more efficient network maintenance – The work of this interim meeting, as well as the entire SG15, provides the foundation for fast, reliable, synchronized, and managed ICT services.”
This symposium also included a roundtable discussion on the practical technologies of future optical network architecture and standardization progress, where ITU-T experts shared their insights on a range of topics such as standard formulation, network architecture evolution, management model, and the intelligent development of all-optical service networks. Our Hong Kong experts also shared their research results on hot topics such as AI application and network capability improvement.
Mr Malcolm Betts, Chair of ITU-T SG15 Working Party 3, pointed out that, “the transport network architecture has evolved from Plesiochronous Digital Hierarchy (PDH) to Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) and then to OTN, the mainstream technology of transport networks. OTN has also evolved for over two decades, throughout which the network architecture design has played a critical role. OTN employs an architecture design in which network transport is irrelevant to service type. As a result, OTN capabilities include not just the fine grain OTN (fgOTN) technical specifications for smaller 10Mbps, but also the B400G solutions for ultra-large capacities to support 800G and 1.6T Ethernet transmission in the future. In addition, the emergence of automatic and intelligent solutions has enabled OTN to dynamically perceive service requirements and automatically adjust channel resources based on service rate, latency and other requirements. This truly enables service-driven optical networks and thereby serves end users in a better way.”
Mr Paul Doolan, Chair of ITU-T SG 15 Working Party 2, noted that “ITU-T is working with multiple SDOs in the optical community to define the technical specifications for the physical layer. So far, in respect of single-wavelength rates, standardization has been completed for 100Gbps and 400Gbps and is well underway for 800Gbps. Mr. Doolan noted that the OIF has recently started a project to address intra DC applications at 1.6Tbps and pointed out some of the challenges that project must address. In addition to higher rates, Paul mentioned the appearance of intelligent module capabilities which, combined with applications like AI, hold the promise of innovative and flexible optical deployment enabled very close to the physical layer.”
Dr Xiang Liu, a chief scientist at Huawei Hong Kong Research Center, pointed out in his keynote address entitled “Evolution of F5G Optical Fiber Networks Towards 2030” that, “this symposium on intelligent optical network held at the Charles K. Kao Auditorium is very meaningful. With the joint efforts of all parties in our optical community, the emerging service-oriented optical network will play an increasingly important role in a fully connected, intelligent world. Joint innovation is crucial for the optical communications field, to address the fundamental challenges posed by the Shannon Limit and the slowdown of the Moore’s Law. Continued global collaboration on international standards and open research will be essential to fully realize the value of F5G optical fiber networks for the benefit of our global society.”
Hong Kong has long been committed to providing platforms and services for international academic and technical exchanges. This event has garnered the highest number of attendees under ITU-T SG15 Q12 and Q14 in the past five years. It has provided a range of technical support and directions for standardization such as the future optical networks.
Photo 1: A group of ITU-T experts gathered at Hong Kong Science Park at a symposium on intelligent optical transport networks to promote the formulation of global optical industry standards and intelligent development, including (left to right):
Photo 2: Themed “Intelligent Optical Transport Network in the F5G Era”, the symposium invited more than 150 international standard experts as well as the educators, researchers and industry leaders in Hong Kong, to discuss the latest research and technology development of optical network standardization and intelligent optical transport and to envisage the future of OTNs.