Intune CMO, Richard Brandon presents at WDM 2012 in Monaco

Sub-wavelength Networking - A Solution for the Packet Transport Network Dilemma

18th till 21st June 2012, Grimaldi Forum, Monaco

Intune Networks has created a new way of forwarding packets over long distances, developing an optical Ethernet switch that can switch packets between ports that are hundreds of kilometres apart. This dynamic, distributed system delivers a step-change in network efficiency. Carriers can now scale their networks at significantly lower cost, as well as provide their customers with greater connectivity.

Intune's technology uses tuneable LASERs to switch packets across an optical backplane. It is the first carrier-grade system to use the emerging sub-wavelength switching standard, which is being driven by major carriers including: Verizon, Telefonicá, Swisscom, Telstra, Telecom Italia and others. (ITU SG-15 members).
The system is designed for large carriers and organisations that have high bandwidth and high connectivity requirements.

Sub-wavelength networking

Intune Networks has created a single switch that can connect ports across hundreds of kilometres, cutting out the expense and complexity of multiple intermediate systems. For networks that have high connectivity requirements, or that need to cope with dynamic traffic patterns, Intune's systems allow them to scale far more efficiently:

Lower capex than traditional architectures

All ports in the system are 'service-facing', unlike traditional switch and transport architectures where many ports are consumed connecting network elements to each other.  So the system requires fewer switch ports, fewer optics, and fewer electrical to optical interfaces. A number of operators have estimated that sub-wavelength networking can reduce their capex by 30-55% in highly connected networks.

Costs less to operate than traditional architectures

A unified switching and transmission system means that capacity in both domains can be scaled in perfect equilibrium to traffic needs simply by adding ports. This reduces planning, configuration and management costs. The system also uses less power (due to less electrical processing) than conventional architectures, and there are fewer components to maintain. A number of operators have estimated that sub-wavelength networking can reduce their opex by 30-40%.

Reduces the risk of service congestion

The entire capacity of a network built with this technology is instantly available to any destination, so it can be efficiently used to avoid congestion even with highly dynamic traffic demands. Unlike existing architectures, there is no need for complex integration of control planes or operational processes. And future network expansion follows an elegant 'pay-as-you-grow' path without the risk of over-investment in either transmission or switching capacity.


About Intune Networks (

Sub-wavelength networking is the most significant new development in networking since the advent of IP and WDM. Intune Networks has been developing this technology for over a decade and is the first company to deliver a carrier-class system for its customers.

Intune are a venture-backed company headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, with offices in the United States and further research and development facilities in Belfast, UK.


WDM 2012, Day Two, Wednesday 20th June, Delivering Flexible Optical Networking with ROADMs, CDC & OTN Switching


17:30 Richard Brandon, Head of Strategy, Intune Networks will be presenting on Sub-wavelength Networking - A solution for the Packet Transport Network Dilemma. The topics discussed by Richard will include the below:

  • What is sub-wavelength networking and how does it fit with ROADM, MPLS and OTN based approaches?
  • What benefits could it offer to existing OTN approaches?
  • Where is the sub-wavelength industry today - standards, vendors, carrier deployments?