B5G-OPEN targets the design, prototyping and demonstration of a novel end-to-end integrated packet-optical transport architecture based on MultiBand (MB) optical transmission and switching networks. MB expands the available capacity of optical fibres, by enabling transmission within S, E, and O bands, in addition to commercial C and/or C+L bands, which translates into a potential 10x capacity increase and low-latency for services beyond 5G.

To realize multiband networks, technology advances are required, both in data, control and management planes.

Concerning devices, these include new amplifiers, filterless subsystems, add/drop multiplexers, etc. Such technology advances complement novel packet-optical white boxes using flexible sliceable Bandwidth Variable Transceivers and novel pluggable optics. The availability of MB transmission will also lead to a complete redesign of the end-to-end architecture, removing boundaries between network domains and reducing electronic intermediate terminations.

The control plane will be extended to support multiband elements and a ‘domain-less’ network architecture. It will rely on physical layer abstraction, new impairment modelling, and pervasive telemetry data collection to feed AI/ML algorithms that will lead to a Zero-Touch networking paradigm including a full featured node operating system for packet-optical whiteboxes.

The results will be shown in two final demonstrations exposing the project benefits from operator and user perspectives. B5G-OPEN will have a clear impact on the society showing the evolution towards a world with increased needs of connectivity and higher capacity in support of new B5G services and new traffic patterns.

The consortium includes partners from 8 countries: three major telecom operators, three vendors, three SMEs and five research centres and academia.