Nowadays, network operators are steadily deploying optical circuit switching (OCS) equipment in their metropolitan networks in order to cope with traffic increase and, most importantly, in order to reduce capital expenditures and operational expenditures of existing active technologies. On the other hand, optical burst switching (OBS) technology is expected to become mature in the medium term, and it may be used as an alternative to current OCS networks due to its potential advantages in terms of bandwidth allocation granularity. While OBS is being extensively studied in the literature, little attention has been paid in conducting a comparative analysis of OBS versus OCS, especially concerning cost analysis. In this paper, we provide a comparative analysis of OBS versus OCS as an evolutionary technology for all-optical rings in the metropolitan-access network. This paper is specifically targeted toward optimizing the number of optoelectronic receivers and wavelengths with real traffic matrices from the metropolitan rings in Madrid, Spain. Such matrices also include traffic projections of foreseeable broadband services, which are based on a market analysis from the largest operator in Spain. Our findings show that OCS might be more efficient than OBS in the metro-access segment, which is characterized by a highly centralized traffic pattern. However, the more distributed the traffic is, the more efficient the OBS is as well. Consequently, OBS might be better suited to metro-core networks, which show a more distributed and dynamic traffic pattern.
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