AI-Driven Optical Network Technology Transformation: China FIBERTalk 2024

AI-Driven Optical Network Technology Transformation: China FIBERTalk 2024

Co-hosted by the Fiber Network Council APAC (FNCA) and Yangtze Optical Fibre and Cable Joint Stock Limited Company (YOFC), China FIBERTalk 2024 was held in China’s Optics Valley on May 17th.

The conference, which focused on “New Optical Network Technologies and Applications in the AI+ Era”, brought together top management executives and senior engineers from leading telecom and mobile network operators, network service providers, research institutes, and corporate users of communications services.

Xiong Zhuang, President of FNCA and Chief Cable Scientist at YOFC, highlighted in his address that this event marks the second collaboration between FNCA and YOFC following the FTTH APAC Conference 2019, also held in the same location. FNCA is dedicated to advancing the widespread use of fiber optic networks. In the AI+ era, the synergy of AI and fiber optic network is unlocking numerous possibilities. The integration enhances efficiency and reliability, while enabling new services and applications, launching the next wave of innovation in technology. As an industry association, FNCA is dedicated to fostering communication and cooperation within the industry. By promoting the advancement and adoption of fiber optic network technology, the organization aims to shape the future of connectivity in the Asia-Pacific region.

Zhuang Dan, Executive Director and President of YOFC, delivered a welcome speech at the conference, extending a warm greeting to all the participants. He expressed his gratitude to FNCA for their trust and ongoing support. Zhuang emphasized that AI is driving new opportunities for the development of fiber optic network technology. He highlighted the mutually beneficial relationship between AI and fiber optic networks, noting that they drive each other forward. The sophisticated advancement of AI applications and the growth of data traffic are escalating the demand for fiber optic infrastructure. Concurrently, high-quality fiber optic networks, empowered by new technologies, are enabling AI to process and analyze data at unprecedented speeds, providing fresh opportunities for innovation across multiple industries. Zhuang also expressed his expectation that the conference would spark innovation and foster new breakthroughs in fiber optic network technology.

With the theme of the conference first and foremost on the minds of all industry leaders, the leading researchers and engineers in optical communication engaged in an in-depth discussion about new optical networks in light of network deployment requirements.

  • Ao Li, Chief Engineer of the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, noted that the AI+ era is pushing optical communication to evolve towards higher speeds, greater capacity, and intelligence. He emphasized the need to enhance the integration and efficient support of high-speed transmission, modular devices, optical fiber and cables, intelligent management and control systems, as well as capacity assessment frameworks.
  • Zhang Chengliang, President of China Telecom Research Institute, explained how China Telecom is advancing the development of FTTR by offering standardized products and solutions that center around networks, services and capabilities. He detailed how this is accomplished through multiple new technologies,such as intelligent middleware, open connectivity protocols, and AI computing power convergence.
  • Wang Guangquan, Chief Engineer of China Unicom Research Institute, described their digital transformation program. The program incorporates digital twin technology into optical networks and utilizes big data analysis, optoelectronic mathematical models, and deep learning algorithms to enable dynamic modeling and intelligent optimization of optical networks. The method, taking into account the characteristics of next-generation optical networks, aims to meet the requirements for intelligent network operation and maintenance.
  • Gao Junshi, General Manager of the Division of Optical Communication, China Mobile Group Design Institute, highlighted that due to network functions centralization, optical transport networks (OTNs) must meet the demands for higher bandwidth, and increased stability and reliability. Additionally, OTNs must have smarter operational and remote maintenance capabilities.

As a global leader in optical communications, YOFC showcased their latest innovations in optical fiber and optical module products, designed to address the demands for high-speed, high-efficiency, and intelligent communication networks within the AI-driven technology landscape.

  • Raadjkoemar Matai, Chief Scientist of Optical Fibre of YOFC, gave a presentation on “YOFC Advanced Fibre Innovation & Application”. He detailed the R&D, progress, and industry applications of YOFC’s new advanced offerings, including G.654.E, multi-core, few-mode, and hollow-core optical fibers. His presentation also covered the evolution of optical fibers and the challenges facing the industry.
  • Chu Yuanliang, Chief Scientist of Optical Transceiver of YOFC, focused on introducing YOFC’s AI Generated Content (AIGC)-based large model applications. He also outlined the company’s customer-side optical interconnect technologies with higher speeds and increased complexity for applications on both AI’s server and user sides, along with advanced optical interconnect solutions such as optical modules.

Additionally, Wu Guangzhe, Deputy Director of Communication Engineering Center of State Grid Information & Telecommunication Branch, shared his insights into the research and application of multi-source perception fusion technology for electric optical cable networks. Meanwhile, Melanie Germentil, Chief Procurement & Logistics Officer of InfiniVAN, a network service provider in the Philippines, detailed the company’s domestic submarine cable network project. Nishiguchi Yuki, General Manager of Senko HK/China, delivered a keynote speech titled “Responsible AI Advancement, Balancing Growth with Sustainability”. Representatives from Huawei, China Telecommunication Technology Labs, ZTE, and the University of Milan offered professional insights into key optical network technologies, the latest research findings and application cases.  

Optical networks, originating from the invention of optical fiber, have evolved through iterations of information and communication technology and are now entering a significant period of opportunity due to the increasing focus on AI. Industry observers are all in agreement that with the collaborative efforts of the global industry, optical network technology is set to increasingly empower the advancement and application of AI technology, ultimately contributing to societal betterment.


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