As legacy TDM networks and the services they provide reach end-of-life status, and technology continually shifts to keep pace with new demands, service providers face the huge challenge of separating the urgent from the important, the tactical for the strategic, and when to invest in what technology.

Worldwide IT spending continues its significant shift from traditional (non-cloud) offerings to new, cloud-based alternatives and associated growth in the enterprise software technology market. The race to 5G is on, as the next decade of mobile technology investments is well underway in several parts of the world. UHD/4K  video streaming, surveillance, and IoT Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) technology ensure faster speeds, lower latency, and more access points.

While traffic can be created and terminated for a variety of encapsulation protocols on TDM networks, supporting any of the aforementioned technologies is costly, complex, and ultimately unrealistic.

Why the time is now to transition TDM to IP - DownloadAccording to FierceTelecom the overwhelming majority (73%) of surveyed respondents said that TDM migration was a “high priority” for them.

The comprehensive FierceTelecom “Why the Time Is Now to Transition TDM to IP white paper contains research, insights, and analysis from communications providers that currently operate networks. Of those surveyed, 55% maintain networks in North America, 11% in APAC and India, and 23% in the rest of the world.

Among those who said migration was a high priority, 36% reported they have immediate plans to replace TDM technology and the other 64% are in the planning stage. Network operators are faced with an aging infrastructure, have difficulty finding support personnel, and their existing specialists are aging out. Finding legacy parts is increasingly difficult, and security is becoming a risk with little to no software updates. Equipment providers have either capped or End-of-Life (EOL) these systems, putting an increased risk in downtime and customer dissatisfaction of a very profitable service.

When Fierce Telecom asked respondents to envision the next-generation transport network, 91% said they saw packet-based IP architectures as the primary replacement for TDM. This makes sense, as IP technology is far more efficient concerning resource use in all organizational parts. IP-based equipment and personnel to maintain an IP technology-based solution are ubiquitous, and IT networking is native for the current class of technical personnel.


Interested in learning more? We have worked with FierceTelecom to make a copy of the report available and you can download it here.

Leaving TDM equipment to rust is not a viable option

Network operators need to migrate away from their legacy TDM equipment while developing the capability to support new packet interface and bandwidth demands. Ciena’s TDM-to-packet solutions including the 6500 Packet Transport System (PTS), allow networks to remove aging equipment while providing TDM services and, if they want, consolidate multi-agency services to residential and business customers. Network providers, can leverage Ciena professional Services to develop successful planning and engineering procedures and carry out the deployment and migration, partnering closely with in-house expert teams.  

Ciena’s pluggable transceiver family, 3926 Platform and 6500 (PTS) are the right combined technology to consolidate TDM services on a converged packet network. New technology that can provide up to 5x lower power, 10x space saving, and 4x more TDM capacity than competing platforms.

Connect all your network services across a single network, providing a migration to the future for legacy services, and enabling new business opportunities at the speed and agility your customers expect.

Ask us how Ciena helps Evolutionize Your Packet Network.