The need for fiber in 5G
deployments as well as with fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) has kept the question of
convergence front and center for all of us in the industry. And I’ve heard lengthy
discussions on both sides of this issue. Convergence, defined as the merging of
the wireline and wireless networks for this blog, can save deployment costs
whether that be through fewer digs, fewer designs or less capex. But, it can
also add complexities.
CLICK TO TWEET: CommScope's Pedro Torres and Comsof's Raf Meersman explain how they see wireline and wireless coming together to think ahead and make decisions to optimize the future network builds.
A recent study conducted by Comsof,
a leader in creating intelligent network planning and design software, and commissioned
by the FTTH Council Europe demonstrates that convergence does make economic
sense. The study and that data to back up the idea of convergence was presented
on September 26 by Raf Meersman, chief executive officer of Comsof, during a Telecoms.com
As anticipated, the value of
convergence varies greatly. A number of factors impact these calculations,
- Type of deployments- greenfield or brownfield;
- Type of installation- underground cabling or
- Type of environment- urban or rural; and
- Densification needs- low to high cell density.
This study clearly
demonstrates the added value of convergence. When an operator plans for a
greenfield fiber network using underground cable, it can anticipate a
future-proof FTTH-5G network. The range of cost savings for the FTTH-5G network
due to convergence can reach between 75 and 96 percent, with higher savings from high
density to low-density area. The incremental investment to make the FTTH 5G
ready is in a range of 3 to 7 percent.
During the webinar, Meersman stated, “This data aligns with the new
trend we have been seeing with wireline and wireless coming together to think
ahead and make decisions to optimize the future network builds.”
While additional studies are
needed to help operators better estimate the economic benefits of convergence, it
is no longer a question of “Do I push for convergence or not?”, but “What is
the convergence opportunity between wireline and wireless?”