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The Los Angeles Convention Center will light up once again when industry’s preeminent conference for optical communications and networking professionals returns to LA on March 22, 2015. The Optical Fiber Communications Conference and Exhibition, otherwise known as OFC, now in its 40th year, is expected to draw more than 12,000 attendees to over 550 exhibits, and some 800 technical presentations.

As we draw closer to kickoff, we can expect to see the volume of announcements increase around hot topics on tap for #OFC2015 (official live tweets are available by following @ofcconference on Twitter). According to show organizers, the buzz this year is crystallizing around several important themes including the monetization of optical networks; SDN and virtualization; 100G/200G/400G network design; interoperability and optimization; terabit and beyond optical networking; integrated photonics; and cloud and data center networking/interconnect.

For the first-time ever, Tuesday’s Plenary Session will be offered as a free live-stream, online event. Featured speakers include Juniper Networks’ Pradeep Sindhu, TE Connectivity SubCom’s Neal S. Bergano, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Kevin Slavin. Expect speakers to offer interesting and important discussions focused on the latest developments in optical networking, including the future of transport networks, a very cool talk on undersea fiber optic cables enabling a connected world (did you know the first successful transatlantic telegraph cable connected North America to Europe in 1866?), and an equally cool discussion of algorithms’ impact on networking and the ‘physics of culture at-large’. At home viewers will need to pre-register to receive the live-stream link.

It’s no surprise that SDN is a hot topic at OFC 2015. A quick Google search shows that just about everyone is talking about it…new alliances are being formed, SDN conferences are coming online, and a slew of vendors are making SDN-related announcements. At OFC, SDN will be featured in the Service Provider Summit, a half-day event from the show floor on Wednesday, March 25 in Expo Theater I. Specifically designed for the service provider and carrier sector, the Summit includes panel discussions, a keynote presentation, exhibit time, and networking opportunities.

SDN will also be featured in a track of sessions in the Expo Theaters II and III, also located on the show floor. These sessions, and a dozen or so others focused on business, networks and FTTX, and datacom, enable attendees to take advantage of a host of educational programs without having to leave the exhibition.

Market Watch, yet another feature open to attendees from Expo Theater I on the exhibit floor, is an exhibition-long series of panel discussions exploring the latest application topics and business issues in optical communications. Speakers from industry, research, and the investment community will cover a range of topics like the state of the industry, network convergence verses equipment divergence, monetization of optical networks, and integrated photonics technologies, among others.

OFC 2015 is an important show for Interprose clients ADVA Optical Networking, booth #1449, and the Ethernet Alliance, booth #2531. ADVA will highlight its new NFV strategy, while the Ethernet Alliance hosts a multi-vendor interoperability demonstration showcasing the latest in 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet technology from an array of its member companies. In addition to the great things happening in their booths, both organizations will participate in several speaking panels. Be sure to stop by and check them out!

Presented by The Optical Society (OSA) and co-sponsored by IEEE Communications Society (IEEE ComSoc), and IEEE Photonics Society, the OFC 2015 technical conference is March 22-26, with the exhibition taking place March 24-26 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles, California.

The full list of programming and special events happening throughout the conference and exhibition is available on the OFC 2015 website. Check it out and let us know what you’re most looking forward to at this year’s OFC.