We present here the work performed in the EU-funded flexible optical cross-connect (FOX-C) project, which investigates and develops new flexible optical switching solutions with ultra-fine spectral granularity. Thanks to high spectral resolution filtering elements, the sub-channel content can be dropped from or added to a super-channel, offering high flexibility to optical transport networks through the fine adaptability of the network resources to the traffic demands. For the first time, the FOX-C solutions developed in the project are investigated here and evaluated experimentally. Their efficiency is demonstrated over two high spectral efficiency modulation schemes, namely multi-band orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (MB-OFDM) and Nyquist WDM (N-WDM) formats. Finally, in order to demonstrate the relevance of the FOX-C node concepts, a networking study comparing the economic advantages of the FOX-C optical aggregation solution versus the electronic one is performed.