Unique Optic Solutions and Capability.

Client: Tier 1 International Telecoms Carrier  

Location: Global 


This case study will outline how Sandstone Technologies worked with a major carrier to create a solution unavailable anywhere else.


A leading European carrier had a widescale deployment of Arista equipment used as the backbone to provide ROADM capability across Spain. They were unable to source WDM optics from Arista because the products had been discontinued. PICS/Sandstone had been supplying fixed wave compatible optics manufactured by Sandstone. It was a significant and costly challenge to maintain the extensive network, having to hold spares for 40 channels at multiple points-of-presence. It was also complicating planning needs for new rollouts.


Engineers from PICS and Sandstone Technologies worked closely with engineers from Aire Networks to develop, test and validate a tunable optic solution that worked in Arista platforms. Arista had never released a tunable version because they had been unable to provision the SFP in their equipment.

Sandstone achieved this success by leveraging their expertise and deploying engineers to work alongside Aire in their lab. Sandstone worked to match Arista’s unusual channel map and overcame in platform tuning using two innovative methods. Sandstone designed and supplied tuning devices, free-of-charge, that would enable Aire Networks engineers to tune optics in their central labs, for deployment into the wider network as required. Sandstone further developed the tunable SFP so that it worked in Arista, Nokia and Juniper platforms. This gives The customer the added benefit of being able to tune optics in a Juniper or Nokia platform, anywhere in their network, and then swap it into Arista Switches.

PICS and Sandstone were first to offer 40km 100G QSFP for Arista compatibility (widely deployed by this major European carrier), and currently, support 200G/400G options with plans to release an 800G version Q3 2021.


The customer was able to switch purchasing of 40 fixed channel SFPs to one single, tunable alternative. The resulting volume of combined purchasing of a single type meant that PICS were able to provide the superior tunable optic at a similar price to the fixed wave version. The client’s DWDM SFP spares stock holding was reduced by a factor of 40 from its previous level. In addition, they were able to deploy the same part into their Juniper and Nokia networks.

Future network rollouts are much quicker and easier due to the flexibility they have using tunable DWDM optics. PICS use forecasts from Aire Networks to ensure that transceivers are held in stock for rapid deployment to site.

Sandstone have developed a range of ROADM appliances specifically to extend the range and capability of Aire Networks’ multi-vendor infrastructure.

Ongoing collaboration with Sandstone engineers has enabled Aire Networks to:

  • Implement optics which are compatible with equipment from multiple vendors.
  • Source unique optical solutions designed specifically for their requirements.
  • Migrate easily from 1G and 10G to 100G and beyond.
  • Design and deploy a highly innovative, scalable, and bespoke ROADM solution to support a Next Generation communications network.

The customer’s CTO has selected PICS and Sandstone as their preferred supplier for all optic components and solutions. 


  • Significant savings through reduced stock holding
  • Sandstone’s quality processes mean that they have enjoyed almost zero in-system failures with Sandstone optics in the last 4 years.
  • Flexible products supplied by PICS to greatly reduce simplify the supply chain and lead-times.

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