Making the Transition to Fiber Deep Networks
bandwidth consumption continues to rise sharply, and service providers face
ever-increasing competition to win over subscribers, operators
and data center managers are in a race to adopt the best methodologies for
bringing fiber deeper into their networks.
take a look at the challenges and benefits for each group in 2016 as they
evaluate how to drive fiber deeper.
Cable and Broadband
are a few questions that these operators will ask as they look at more fiber.
What are the benefits? How will my architecture change? What new technologies
does fiber help enable? Are there opportunities for additional revenue?
bandwidth, having more fiber in the network gives operators other important
benefits, such as reduced operational costs, energy use, and a smaller carbon
footprint. Operators have to weigh the pros and cons of updating or replacing
their existing hybrid fiber coax (HFC) or copper infrastructure. And if these
legacy networks have to exist, what’s the tipping point for upgrading or bringing
fiber all the way to the home or business? And what does that technology
migration path look like?
the advancement of today’s network technologies, operators need to examine
different strategies and approaches for bringing fiber deeper into their
network. Network architectures can vary significantly, and offer different
benefits, depending on the short term or long term use. It’s important to
consider the location of optical splitters in the network, along with the use
of hardened connectors or splices – all of which impact costs and speed of
deployment. Plug-and-play and Rapid Fiber technologies are tools that can help
considerably to reduce costs and speed deployments. In addition, Radio
Frequency over Glass (RFoG) and fiber-to-the-distribution-point
(FTTdp) technologies can be used as effective transition tools in the
path to achieve all fiber networks. Other important considerations are how
easily can the plant be upgraded from 1G, 10G and beyond? Regardless of the
technologies leveraged, operators need to balance the cost of the initial fiber
deployment with the long-term maintenance requirements of the network.
Flexibility of the network is critical, as network operators need to be able to
respond to changing demands and service requirements.
New fiber network architectures such as fiber indexing
have the potential to reduce construction and cabling costs in the distribution
network. Fiber indexing is a novel approach that uses connectorized
cables and terminals, and allows installers to use a cookie-cutter approach to
build out the network. The exact same components are “daisy-chained” together,
limiting the need for custom cable assemblies or splicing. When compared to a
typical star topology, fiber indexing can reduce the total length of cable
deployed by up to 70 percent, significantly reducing deployment time and cots.
operators should consider the additional revenue opportunities that exist by
bringing fiber deeper into their network. Leveraging a passive optical network
(PON) network, for example, creates opportunities for adding devices such as distributed
antenna systems (DAS), Wi-Fi and small cells. One or more of these devices can
provide a roadmap to increase revenue output of the network.
Data Center and Enterprises
efficient buildings need to enable wireless connectivity throughout the
building, whether it’s for high speed Wi-Fi or mobile network services.
Likewise, as mobile technologies continue to move towards 4G/LTE and beyond,
intelligent buildings will also need to provide coverage and capacity for the
latest technologies. For buildings management, it allows truly informed long
term real estate planning and greatly improved return on investments.
Fiber in the Wireless Network
(FTTA) also continues to prove it is one of the most efficient ways to implement LTE.
It will allow for enhanced energy efficiency, increased bandwidth and improved
flexibility that will assist operators’ deployment of LTE successful. In this
architecture, remote radio units are mounted at the top of the tower, or in the
case of rooftop deployments, as close to the antenna as possible.
In summary, with the increasing need to
deliver more bandwidth, network operators and service providers will continue
to focus on improving network efficiency by deploying more fiber. It
is up to them to maintain and expand their networks to keep up with their
subscribers’ bandwidth and data demands. Are your networks ready for the
consumer thirst for bandwidth?
About the Author
Gronvall is Senior Manager of Product Management, Fiber Innovation, for the
Broadband Network Solutions (BNS) segment of CommScope. Erik joined CommScope
through the acquisition of TE Connectivity’s Telecom, Enterprise and Wireless
businesses in August of 2015. Collectively, Erik has served TE and ADC for over
10 years - leading product strategy, design and development for inside and
outside plant connectivity solutions. Erik holds multiple patents on network
architectures and product designs, and provides regular consultation to
customers on outside plant connectivity requirements. Erik holds a Bachelor of Science degree in
chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota and an MBA at the
University of St. Thomas.
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