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The ever increasing IP traffic volume has finally brought to light the high inefficiency of current wavelength-routed rigid-grid networks in matching the client layer requirements. Such an issue results in the deployment of large-size, expensive and power-consuming IP/MPLS layers to perform the required grooming/aggregation functionality. To deal with this problem, the emerging flex-grid technology, allowing for reduced size frequency grids, usually referred to as frequency slot, has recently attracted great attention among network operators, component and equipment suppliers, and the research community.
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