Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Optimising the fibre rollout: cabling without new cables

Sebastian Richter, Director Product Management, devolo AG
Tuesday 23 March 21

Telcos and ISPs invest heavily in the fibre rollout and growth rates of high-speed connections are high. But many companies face the challenge of balancing customer satisfaction and costs. They can do it if they use the right alternatives. Many ISPs are familiar with this: the fibre connection is in place, but customers are still dissatisfied and complain about weak Wi-Fi and wireless telephony coverage. The reason is often that the router is inconveniently placed. This is due to the fact that many fibre connections end after the first wall, in the basement or utility room…

Telcos and ISPs invest heavily in the fibre rollout and growth rates of high-speed connections are high. But many companies face the challenge of balancing customer satisfaction and costs. They can do it if they use the right alternatives.

Many ISPs are familiar with this: the fibre connection is in place, but customers are still dissatisfied and complain about weak Wi-Fi and wireless telephony coverage. The reason is often that the router is inconveniently placed. This is due to the fact that many fibre connections end after the first wall, in the basement or utility room, where the ONT is often installed. Customers then must make sure themselves that the router is connected to the ONT and place it directly near it. But the basement or utility room are not a favourable location, as Wi-Fi and  wireless telephony coverage suffer.

This shows that providers might save costs if they terminate the connection after the first wall. But viewed holistically, they generate higher service costs and jeopardise their NPS. So, does only new cabling help? Not necessarily, as it requires additional effort, creates dirt and cable ducts cause  a visual problem. In addition, there are the costs for installing additional cables. Customers want to avoid them and ISPs often even do not make profit from additional services: laying the cables, combined with drilling through walls or ceilings, is expensive and time consuming, so the fixed prices offered hardly pay off. 
 
 
The alternative: use existing wires 
 
A reasonable alternative is to use the existing cables for data transmission, i.e. power line, telephone line or coaxial cables. The simplest variant is the power line. Take the devolo Fiber Connect adapter set: A PLC adapter (Powerline Communications) is plugged in near the ONT and connected to it via an Ethernet cable. Another adapter is plugged into a socket near the router, and the signal is transported to where the customer wants to place his gateway.
 
Since the bridge is used in front of the router and thus in front of the firewall of the device, special firmware settings ensure that the IP bridge is not "visible" from the outside; the adapters communicate exclusively with each other, secured by 128-bit AES encryption.
 
 
With gigabit speed via telephone or coaxial cable
 
The power line has been used millions of times for home networking for many years. But because it is not used exclusively for transmitting data, household equipment attenuates the signal. Bandwidth at gigabit range can therefore be achieved by using telephone or coaxial cables that are no longer needed. 
 
Here, too, installation is easy. devolo for example is currently working on a solution that also can simply be plugged into a socket near the ONT to which it is connected via Ethernet cable. The connection to the telephone or coaxial cable is established in just a few steps. A second adapter is then plugged in near the router, connected to it and to the telephone or TV/SAT socket via standard cable and the high-speed connection is established. 
 
Due to the low installation effort, it is possible to make the rollout much more efficient. According to devolo's calculations, the installation time can be reduced by more than 80 percent, so that the provider's technicians can serve considerably more customers per day.
 
 
Performance, costs, customer satisfaction
 
Understanding the any-wire approach as alternative during fibre rollout is beneficial to customers and providers alike: customers get the full performance of their connection wherever they want to place the router. At the same time, providers increase customer satisfaction, lower their service costs and significantly reduce the installation time.
 
To find out more about devolo solutions for perfect in-home fibre experience, visit https://www.devolo.global/telcos-isps/ftth-products
 
 
devolo AG are speaking at this year's Gigabit Access 2021 virtual event, 20th – 21st April 2021. Sebastian Richter, Director Product Management at devolo will be speaking in a panel together with Telekom Solvenije, JT Group and INEA  where they will discuss innovation in business models for FTTH and FTTx rollouts. Register here for your pass
 
 

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