In this paper, we examine the blocking performance of networks in which connections may be blocked due to either insufficient capacity or due to limitations in the transmission network. We use analytical expressions and network simulations to examine blocking in networks in which the quality of the received signal may be so poor that the connection is effectively blocked. In particular, we apply our analysis to networks which use wavelength converters based on four-wave mixing (FWM) in semiconductor optical amplifiers. We show that the performance improvements obtained using these wavelength converters can be significant, but this depends on whether the network uses fixed-frequency or tunable transmitters and receivers.
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