ADVA – Enabling Networks to Meet Tomorrow’s Challenge


Globally revered as a company that is helping its customers embrace next generation technologies in today’s timelines, ADVA Optical Networking broadly focuses in the optical networking space. Dr Christoph Glingener, Chief Technology Officer, ADVA Optical Networking spoke with Zia Askari from about the company’s present focus and how ADVA looks at the future of potential  communication technologies such as Carrier grade Ethernet or M2M.

ADVA Optical Networking has 1450 strong manpower, spread across the globe.

The company has clocked revenues of 310 million Euros for year 2013.

Dr Christoph Glingener
Dr Christoph Glingener


What is the broad focus for ADVA Optical Networking today? and how important is the Indian market for ADVA?

We are focusing on three big segments today. Firstly, we have our focus on optical transmission solutions for the enterprise segment. This is where we hinge 30 per cent of our focus. Secondly, we have our focus on carrier infrastructure products and solutions. Presently, it constitutes about 40 per cent of our focus. And lastly, we are focusing towards Ethernet access and aggregation solutions for the mobile backhaul market. This forms the remaining 30 per cent of our overall focus.  

ADVA Optical Networking has just completed the acquisition of Oscilloquartz in synchronization space, what are your plans on this front?

I think that synchronization is going to play a very critical role in terms of determining the winners in the telecom space. Especially, when we are moving towards co-existence of multiple generations of communications technologies such as 2G, 3G and 4G scenarios where operators need to focus their effort on making sure that users get optimized data rate. There will be multiple sets of base stations talking with the users in order to deliver high bit rate. This is where synchronization is important. Today, there is no solution that can solve this kind of issue for the operators. Hence, there is a huge opportunity in front of us.

And most importantly, as operators look for ways and means to increase their revenue streams, technology-led applications such as ‘synchronization as a service’ can play a vital role in terms of establishing leadership for an operator. Very soon, this can be sold as a service to the customers.

To address this opportunity, we have a product that can monitor and even improve synchronization for the operators. There are many possibilities here, we can provide audit of the network and share details with the operators on how to improve their synchronization capabilities.

The whole concept of delivering accurate timing and synchronization through the network will open up a wide range of new opportunities. Operators will be able to take their existing, asynchronous packet infrastructure to the next level and offer new services. And enterprise customers will be able to synchronise their applications and client systems over the networks interconnecting them.

What could be the best mobile backhaul strategy for operators today?

To my mind, best mobile backhaul strategy will come only if the medium is fiber. Hence, utilization of fiber holds the big key to efficient backhauling for the operators today.

Also, I strongly believe in distributed antenna systems or DAS as they will create better network optimization for the operators and create more value for their network investments. But moving forward, I have a vision where these remote antennas will not be owned by operators but by utility platforms.

What is the fastest growing segment for ADVA Optical Networking today? What is your focus towards handling your data center customers?

Our focus is currently on the enterprise, primarily the space where we are offering our services to data center customers. Data center interconnect is our fastest growing business today. Our second fastest growing segment is mobile backhaul and fronthaul.

Today, we are working closely with three of the global top five customers in the data center space. This is an exciting space as we are providing them fast scaling of data capabilities, utilizing the same amount of connectivity. This saves them a lot of money and creates big value.

What is your opinion on the future opportunities for Carrier grade Ethernet market?

Carrier Ethernet is the perfect access technology and holds great potential for the operators. This is where operators can target the enterprise community and create long lasting opportunities for their future growth.

Operators can utilize Carrier Ethernet to map different set of applications on VLANs, and provide SLA based services to enterprise customers. And the future possibilities of Carrier Ethernet access with Network Function Virtualization (NFV) are profound.

What are some of the big challenges that operators are facing today? How can ADVA Optical Networking help in this regard?

We have always been looking at problems or challenges of our customers and then move ahead to look for solutions. And one such problem today comes from efficiently handling the backhaul of data. This is where we have been quite innovative. We have this “First Mile Caching” solution, which can revolutionize the way data is handled at the base station level.

First Mile Caching?

This is again a completely next generation way of handling data overflow at the base station. We invested in a DPI software company called Saguna about two years back and this has given us capability for caching data at the base station itself.  With this technology service providers can operate in a ‘data bottleneck free’ atmosphere. And hence, this is giving them a great tool to make more money from their existing infrastructure, while at the same time there is lesser strain on their network. So, with this solution, we can solve a huge problem for operators.

A lot of operators are going after the M2M market, as it is giving them a promise to increase their revenue streams as well. How do you look at the M2M space today?

Yes, there is excitement in the M2M space today, but according to my understanding there are no high capacity applications today. Real bandwidth consuming applications will come from segments such as Healthcare where different set of hospitals need data clustering solutions that can be accessed by each of the hospitals or when we have high performance computing or cloud computing front. Nevertheless, an increasingly large amount of devices is designed for mobile connectivity, driving mobile networks and mobile operator opportunities to the next level.


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