We evaluate the system applications of tunable lasers. Automated wavelength provisioning could be important in mesh, core WDM networks, but remains limited in the emerging multi-service metropolitan networks by the pre-deployment cost. In inventory applications, however, tunability allows savings, particularly in high volume operations, and highperformance 10 Gb/s designs, which enable the introduction of the technology in metro core networks. We also relate our conclusions to the value of the emerging pluggable WDM modules, which offer an attractive alternative, especially to multi-service metro access system applications.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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