According to Infonetics Research, 86 percent of the service providers it surveyed are planning to deploy optical transport network (OTN) switching. “OTN switching is no longer a niche technology,” comments Andrew Schmitt, principal analyst/Optical. “In the recent past, there was a sizeable minority of carriers who planned to skip OTN switching, but that minority is dwindling. In the next three years, OTN switching is going to be a requirement for most WDM transport platforms in the metro and all higher-density systems in the core.” However, packet-optical is a niche market today, representing only 10 percent of all optical spending, he notes, but by 2016, nearly all operator respondents say they want systems that integrate OTN switching and packet switching in the same platform. In addition, optical mesh protection currently plays a minor role in carrier networks, but Infonetics predicts it will be dominant by 2016.