Motivated by the design goals of Global Environment for Network Innovation (GENI), we consider how to support the slicing of link bandwidth resources as well as the virtualization of optical access networks and optical backbone mesh networks. Specifically, in this paper, we study a novel programmable mechanism called optical orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM)/orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA) for link virtualization. Unlike conventional time division multiplexing (TDM)/time division multiple access (TDMA) and wavelength division multiplexing (WDM)/wavelength division multiple access (WDMA) methods, optical OFDM/OFDMA utilizes advanced digital signal processing (DSP), parallel signal detection (PSD), and flexible resource management schemes for subwavelength level multiplexing and grooming. Simulations as well as experiments are conducted to demonstrate performance improvements and system benefits including cost-reduction and service transparency.
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