Friday, 27 April 2018

Network convergence 2.0: Fibre to the Everything

Article by Jonas Verstuyft, Marketing and Partner Manager (FiberPlanIT) by Comsof
Thursday 05 April 18

People are hungry for bandwidth. Residents want to enjoy the benefits of 4K video and VR applications and they need to be connected with their colleagues while working from home. Businesses have a need for reliable and fast connectivity to support their operations. And people are more mobile than ever, expecting the same online experience on the road as from the comfort of their own home. Upcoming 5G technology will support this experience. Operators will need lots of fibre to satisfy the hunger of their customers. I’m not talking about the fibres you find in your cereal. But about Fibre to the Home…

People are hungry for bandwidth. Residents want to enjoy the benefits of 4K video and VR applications and they need to be connected with their colleagues while working from home. Businesses have a need for reliable and fast connectivity to support their operations. And people are more mobile than ever, expecting the same online experience on the road as from the comfort of their own home. Upcoming 5G technology will support this experience.

Operators will need lots of fibre to satisfy the hunger of their customers. I’m not talking about the fibres you find in your cereal. But about Fibre to the Home, Business and Antenna. These networks will need to be deployed to support all of the bandwidth and latency requirements of the new services.

All these demand locations, residents, businesses and 5G small cells, will be located side by side in the cities. And all of these locations will demand fibre connectivity. But, the amount of fibres and the network architecture will be different. E.g. operators will need to deploy fibre rings to guarantee the reliability businesses demand. Because all these locations are mixed up it will be most cost-effective to deploy converged networks.

According to Wikipedia network convergence refers to the provision of telephone, video and data communication services within a single network. In other words, one company provides services for all forms of communication.

This network evolution has happened already. But, what I am referring to here is the deployment of a single fibre network for mobile, residential and business services. As all these demand locations are located side by side it makes sense to go in once and put in the infrastructure for all of these services immediately.

If operators would build separate networks, they are essentially overbuilding their own networks. Which results in wasted funds that could be put to better use. Operators also risk to block their own strategy. Due to regulation operators might be restricted to do civil works too frequently. Cities want to avoid too frequent disturbance for the public and thus promote civil works to be operated in conjunction. They typically define a period where no works can be done, and often this is a couple of years. Going in to build a network for a single service separately will introduce a delay for other services.

Full network convergence requires a shift in the way the operator’s departments are organised. Currently the responsibilities for residential, business and mobile connectivity are divided in different departments. To stay competitive and become more efficient, the operator will needs to enforce organizational and process changes, introducing new tools that can handle the complexity of converged fibre infrastructure planning.

Departments will need to work more closely together and responsibilities on the network infrastructure might need to be separated into a new horizontally organised division.

As stated before, different services will have different fibre demands and require a different network architecture. Planning and designing a converged network that handles all these different requirements is a complex task. Automated planning tools will need to be introduced to handle the complexity of cross-department fibre infrastructure planning

Ideally an operator should build a fully converged network. Depending on the strategy of the operator he will choose to focus on a single target market first. So he needs to plan smartly and foresee future expansions following a phased approach. In our keynote presentation at Gigabit Access we will explain different ways to follow a phased approach and show the potential cost savings of network convergence. We will also discuss this subject during a round table.

I am looking forward to some interesting discussions and new insights at the conference.

Round table at 11:30 am, keynote presentation at 12:50pm, 10th of April at Gigabit Access 2018.

About FiberPlanIT (by Comsof)
 
FiberPlanIT (by Comsof) is the worldwide leading software for planning and design of FTTx networks with more than 65 Million Homes Planned. FiberPlanIT makes FTTx network planning Smart, Fast and Easy: both in the strategic planning phase – when estimating costs, comparing technologies and maximizing Return on Investment – as during detailed network design – when creating optimized to-build plans while integrating field survey data. This is possible thanks to FiberPlanIT’s unique automated and optimized design capabilities based on GIS data. Learn from more than 120 FTTx projects worldwide who have significantly increased the profit of their project with FiberPlanIT. More details at www.fiberplanit.com

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