Openreach, the infrastructure arm of BT, said it has chosen Huawei and Nokia for support with its national “Fibre First” fiber to the premises (FTTP) roll out, which will reach 3 million homes and businesses throughout the UK by the end of 2020 (see "BT pledges increased FTTP, mobile infrastructure investments as part of new strategy"). The companies have received contracts to deliver new systems for installation in Openreach headends.
Huawei will supply its MA5800-X17 optical line terminal (OLT), while Nokia will supply its 7360 ISAM FX-16. The systems, both of which are capable of support 10G PON implementations, will be installed in the headend’s handover point. According to Openreach, Huawei has already started deployment of the new kit throughout Openreach’s fiber network, and Nokia should start installing equipment in July of 2019.
Openreach operates an open access network that can be used by alternative service providers as well as BT. The headend in which the OLTs will operate functions as a digital gateway, Openreach explains, that manages and translates high-speed data signals between customers’ premises and the broader network. Virtual pipes that are individually identified by a unique tag contain data from the customers premise. The tag then acts as an address to enable the headend equipment to determine where to send the data, thereby reaching the right communication provider’s network successfully.
The Fibre First program is gaining momentum, with engineers building the network to within reach of an additional 8,000 homes and businesses weekly, Openreach attests.
“We’ll be going flat out to make FTTP available to 3 million homes by the end of 2020, and we want to reach 10 million by the mid-2020s, so using cutting-edge technology will be integral to achieving that,” said Peter Bell, Openreach’s CTO and NGA operations director. “Britons consume more than double the amount of data they did just three years ago and whilst we’re already a leading digital economy, Openreach continues to invest in network upgrades to make sure we can repeat that success and keep well ahead of demand.”
Huawei and Nokia have been tapped by Openreach for previous broadband roll outs, such as providing a range of G.fast equipment to support high-speed broadband services over copper cabling in 2016 (see “Openreach taps Huawei, Nokia for G.fast roll-out”).
Openreach says it will continue to partner with the government to supply rural areas with FTTP and provide remote communities in the UK with access to FTTP networks.
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