In wavelength-switched optical networks (WSONs), quality of transmission (QoT) has to be guaranteed during lightpath provisioning. In multibit-rate WSONs, this task is complicated by the coexistence of optical connections operating at different bit-rates and modulation formats. The major issue consists in accounting for the severe impairments due to cross-phase modulation (XPM) induced by 10 Gb/s lightpaths on neighbor 40 or 100 Gb/s lightpaths. In this paper, QoT modeling is first reviewed for 10, 40, and 100 Gb/s transmission according to the adopted modulation format and detection type. In addition, a Gaussian approximation to compute the bit error rate of differential quadrature phase-shift keying (DQPSK) and QPSK signals is proposed, as well as closed formulas to compute the nonlinear phase noise variance due to XPM. Also, discussions about the XPM cumulation over spans in a WSON and how XPM can be considered in a dynamic network are provided. Then, four lightpath provisioning schemes are proposed to effectively account for QoT and, in particular, for XPM. The schemes differently exploit: 1) augmented spectral separation among lightpaths at different bit rates; 2) XPM worst-case scenario; and 3) current and novel generalized multiprotocol label switching extensions. The performance of the proposed schemes is evaluated through simulations in several multibit-rate scenarios. Results show that the proposed schemes provide effective network resource utilization while guaranteeing the adequate QoT to lightpaths at any bit rate.
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