Muxponding is a means to combine lower rate signals into one larger rate signals, commonly known as multiplexing in other applications of telephony, which first started within telegraphy in the 1870s.
Telephony, by far the largest application of multiplexing in communications history, started with frequency division multiplexing (FDM), an analogue method of assigning users a set frequency range. This has been replaced by time division multiplexing (TDM) – a method of digitally sending signals which is central to DWDM systems today, a technology at the heart of many Dark Fibre networks.
Here we can see three 10G connections combined into one larger signal. Larger applications include combining ten 1G signals into one 10G signal, thereby expanding the capacity of that the transport media instead of replacing the fibre, a costly resource to replace whether renting or outright ownership.
There are several multiplexing schemes. With fibre optics, Optical Transport Network (OTN), the common name for ITU-T Recommendation G.709, is deterministic and promises zero data loss. And with operators always looking to reduce their CAPEX and OPEX, the OTN digital wrapper provides this through clearly defining functions of transport, multiplexing, routing, management, supervision and survivability which helps to simplify network, preventing the need for additional equipment, reducing costs.
In concluding, we can see how muxponding is a key feature of optical networking that extends the reach and capacity of lower rate signals like Ethernet and Fibre Channel into a larger signal. DWDM (dense wavelength division multiplexing) uses muxponding that can span around 80 channels and slightly above this to 88 channels with a flexible channel grid.