OpenROADM is a standard that enables network operators to use equipment from multiple vendors, while maintaining high levels of performance and reliability. It also supports advanced features and functionality, such as the use of both 16QAM and QPSK modes, which provide an optimal trade-off between optical performance, data rate, and spectral efficiency.

However, interoperability can have an impact on performance, because interoperability requires the use of open source or shared Forward Error Correction (FEC), Probabilistic Constellation Shaping (PCS), and optical power control algorithms, rather than proprietary implementations, which are highly optimized. In addition, certain design and operational techniques that rely on optimized end-to-end control and/or real-time communications may not be feasible with different implementations at both ends.  Open ROADM optical specifications are considered a baseline among different implementations, and the Open ROADM MSA’s work to push this baseline specification helps propagate the best design practices in the industry.