The benefits of iNOP can be demonstrated with a simple example. Take a small network of 400 microwave connections in a transmission network. A mere 400 connections lead to more than 80 000 possible combinations if each site is connected to only one optical hub with one microwave hop, and all the sites have LoS (Line of Sight) to all the others. In a dense urban environment this is a realistic scenario for macro-sites.
If we enable connections to reach an optical hub with more than one microwave hop (aka chain) or to more than one hub, the number of possible combinations dramatically increases. We might call it combinatory explosion. As the number of sites increase the number of possible network variants grow exponentially.
There are characteristics which represent “goodness” in a network. These are not the technical parameters of individual microwave hops, but characteristics of the network, which is the whole of individual hops. These parameters can be the TCO of the whole network; cumulated availability of network; average, peak, sum capacity of network, etc.
If an engineer wants to choose the optimal version from the 80 000 combinations he or she should simulate all 80 000 and calculate the network characteristics for each and every version. Which is, obviously, not feasible due to the nearly infinite amount of time and resources needed. (Please remember, we are using a relatively small number of connections (400) to provide a demonstration of complexity. A typical network consists of thousands, or tens of thousands of sites and connections.)
iNOP performs these calculations within a few hours.