Building the Intelligent Middle Mile

May 14th, 2024

During a recent webinar, Ribbon's Jonathan Homa, Senior Director, Solutions Marketing, and David Stokes, Head of IP Portfolio Marketing, discussed the pivotal role the middle mile network plays for Network Operators in taking advantage of the hugely increased access capacity recent investments in fiber and 5G offer. 

Network Operators require efficient, cost-effective solutions for this critical link in network connectivity. This middle mile connectivity, which refers to the transport of data from the core network (first mile) to the access network (last mile), enables providers to leverage this increased capacity in support of new services.

Homa and Stokes outlined various transport solutions that can maximize profitability while minimizing Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

Here is their conversation on Building An Intelligent Middle Mile:


Here is a Brief Outline of their Discussion

In simple terms the middle mile connects the access networks (last mile) to the service and applications in the core of the network (first mile). It must deliver services to meet their performance needs at the lowest TCO, requiring it to be:
  • Service Aware – transport services to meet Service Level Agreements (SLA)
  • Flexible - Supporting multiple topologies
  • Forecast Tolerant – grow capacity and reach - smoothly
  • Economical – minimize Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

Different Approaches to building the Middle Mile

  • The Raw Bandwidth Approach – lowest initial CAPEX, fails to meet the needs of a modern network or operator
  • Separated IP and Optical Approach – whilst this adds service awareness it adds complexity and cost
  • The Intelligent Middle Mile – integrates the Routing and Optical networks with intelligent domain control. Meets service delivery requirements at lowest TCO

Ribbon's Intelligent Middle Mile

Ribbon's Intelligent Middle Mile has three main products product lines that make up the pillars of our solution

  • Muse Domain Orchestration with Muse - Brings the intelligence and automation to the middle mile. Cloud native by design, provides the multilayer applications the and lifecycle control and insights required to make the middle mile intelligent
  • Service Aware Routing with NPT - Supports traffic delivered from multiple access networks, interface rates, and architectures and  aggregates and transports these to meet each service performance needs on a service by service basis
  • Lowest Cost/Bit Middle Mile Transport with Apollo - Provides high-capacity low latency transport of traffic across the network. Supports two types of transmission optimization. Firstly, capacity-reach optimized approach with wavelengths up to 1.2T or secondly a power-cost optimized approach target at metro applications

Middle Use Cases

Ribbon's Intelligent Middle is a fir for all types of networks and network operators, such as:
  • Broadband Backhaul - for ISPs, Backbones and NRENs
  • 5G xHaul - for mobile operators and mobile wholesalers
  • TDM to IP Modernization - for service providers, network operators and voice modernization
  • Critical Infrastructures - used by defence, utilities and transportation companies
  • High-Capacity Interconnect - for DCI and submarine
  • Converged Interconnect Networks - used by calbe companies

 I encourage you to watch the complete presentation to get a better understanding of how you can begin to build out your own Intelligent Middle Mile.

Watch The Video

Additional Resources

Whitepaper: Building an Intelligent Middle Mile

Apollo Optical Networking – Programmable and open optical networks to satisfy the growing demands for bandwidth

NPT IP Routing – multiple routing technologies supporting services including Layers 2 & 3 VPN, EVPN, Ethernet and Circuit Emulation