Reliable coarse granular routing optical network architectures that maximize fiber frequency utilization efficiency are presented. The architectures combine coarse granular routing and fine granular add/drop operations, where optical paths are carried by virtual optical pipes. Higher efficiency than conventional fine granular routing networks is achieved by dense path packing in the frequency domain. We propose two architectures that apply shared protection with different levels of granularity and develop static network design algorithms for the two different shared protection schemes. The design algorithms neutralize the impairment caused by adjacent path dropping in the frequency domain. Numerical experiments verify that the necessary number of fibers in a network can be reduced by up to 20% due to the improved spectral utilization efficiency.
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