Quantifying the benefits of optical network automation

01 February 2024 | Research

Michelle Lam | Justin van der Lande

Perspective | PDF (15 pages) | Automated Assurance| Network Automation and Orchestration


The surge in data traffic over recent years, accelerated by ever-increasing bandwidth requirements, growing data center interconnection traffic and new emerging technologies (such as augmented reality (AR)/virtual reality (VR), internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML)), is driving the need for greater scale in optical networks. Optical networks today provide ubiquitous connectivity for practically all network traffic, across access/edge to metro, long-haul and subsea links.

Managing this growth in optical network capacity requires a new approach to the management and control of optical networks to meet the demand for high-bandwidth services. Optimizing the capacity, reliability and security of optical networks has become a key priority for operators to guarantee enhanced network performance, minimize operational costs, monetize new services and support new business models.

Operators are seeking automation solutions to minimize the total cost of ownership of optical networks and to maximize the efficiency, scalability and profitability of their optical network deployments. Simplifying the management and control of next-generation optical networks by automating manually intensive and repetitive tasks (such as provisioning, configuration and troubleshooting) will help reduce operational expenditure, because skilled technicians are needed to carry out this process to avoid costly errors, and to support new revenue growth.

This perspective aims to demonstrate the benefits of automation for network lifecycle management and service lifecycle management using the Nokia WaveSuite optical network automation platform, which is based on actual Nokia customer deployments. The in-depth analysis in this study is informed by a series of questionnaire responses, operator interviews and Analysys Mason’s existing network automation research. We evaluate many use cases for network and service automation. We quantify the benefits of automations in terms of OPEX savings, CAPEX savings, time savings and the ability to generate new revenue.

This report includes discussion of the following topics

  • Market drivers for optical network automation
    • Growing demand for high-bandwidth applications
    • Optical network expansion and modernization
    • Evolution to converged IP/optical architecture
    • Shift to open optical networking architectures
    • Innovate and monetize new services
  • Quantifiable benefits of automation using Nokia WaveSuite
    • Network automation
    • Service automation
  • Summary of total cost savings
  • Overview of Nokia WaveSuite solutions

Quantifying the benefits of optical network automation