Research project

METRO High bandwidth, 5G Application-aware optical network

TU/e will design, develop, and experimentally assess a novel edge node in the METRO-HAUL architecture


The overall Metro-Haul objective is to architect and design cost-effective, energy-efficient, agile and programmable metro networks that are scalable for 5G access and future requirements, encompassing the design of all-optical metro nodes (including full compute and storage capabilities), which interface effectively with both 5G access and multi-Tbit/s elastic core networks.

Metro-Haul has taken the 5G KPIs and already determined their implication for the optical network with these 5 targets: (i) 100 x more 5G capacity supported over the same optical fibre infrastructure, (ii) 10 times less energy consumption, (iii) Latency-aware metro network in which latency-sensitive slices are handled at the metro edge ensuring the metro network adds no additional latency, (iv) End to end SDN-based management framework enabling fast configuration time to set up or reconfigure services handling 5G applications, specifically 1 minute for simple network path set-up and 10 minutes for full installation of a new VNF and 1 hour for setting up a new virtual network slice and (v) reduction in CAPEX of a factor of 10, plus a reduction in OPEX of at least 20%.

Project Information


British Telecommunications (UK)

TU/e Contribution

TU/e will design, develop, and experimentally assess a novel edge node in the METRO-HAUL architecture. TUE will numerically and experimentally investigate optical edge node network architectures that are able to interconnect a number of novel optical technologies to be developed in the project such as photonic WDM switches and bandwidth-variable transceivers in order to support the required dynamicity and flexibility required by 5G. Moreover, in order to enable concepts such as hardware disaggregation and virtualization of the metro node, TUE will design and implement the required opto-electronic interfaces controller boards and the software-defined networking (SDN) control agent to support programmability of the optical technologies developed in the project. In coordination with the SDN control plane, the optical nodes need to be able to adapt dynamically to the needs of specific services, optimally exploiting the data plane through the use of relevant data monitoring and analysis schemes developed within the project. TUE will participate to the lab validation and field trial demonstrators of the emerging  5G systems.

Partner Institutes

  • British Telecom - UK
  • Telecom Italia SPA (TIM) - Italy
  • Fraunhofer Gesellschaft zur Foerderung der Angewandten Forschung E.V. (HHI) - Germany
  • CTTC - Spain
  • Telefonica - Spain
  • University of Bristol - UK
  • Technische Universiteit Eindhoven (TU/e) - The Netherlands
  • ADVA - Germany
  • Politechnic University of Milan - Italy
  • ERICSSON - Italy
  • Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs/Nokia Bell Labs France (NBLF) - France
  • Coriant Portugal - Portugal
  • Universidad Carlos III de Madrid - Spain
  • CNIT - Italy
  • Lexden Technologies - UK
  • Zeetta Networks - UK
  • OpenLightComm - UK
  • Old Dog Consulting - UK
  • NAUDIT - Spain
  • SeeTec - Germany
  • Alcatel Lucent Italia - Italy
  • UPC - Spain

Contact Us

Teamlead: dr. Nicola Calabretta, 

T: +31 40 - 247 5361