Combine fiber with other technologies for ubiquitous service
The exploding demand for broadband service has created more competition for subscribers. Cable companies and alternative operators are now challenging regional operators for market share. To improve services and keep customers loyal, regional operators must quickly find the right balance between performance, time-to-deployment and cost. The key to creating that balance is choosing the right technology for each serving area.
Assess the market
Obviously, if money was no object, and time was not a factor, fiber would be used for every broadband connection. But each serving area in your market has different requirements and presents a different set of challenges. The density of households, the broadband speeds that are needed to meet subscriber expectations, the time it takes to provide new services, and the costs must all be considered.
Given this reality, one solution will not provide the ideal balance between performance, time-to-deployment and cost that will enable the business case and allow you to maintain a competitive edge in all serving areas. The right approach is to deliver fiber to the most economical point (FTT$) — the deepest point in the network that makes the most business sense.
Consider the options
With a complete assessment of the market and serving area requirements you can determine where the most economical point is in each serving area and the right technologies that you can combine with fiber to meet requirements.
In some cases, fiber will be needed all the way to the business or home. In others, fiber can be deployed close enough that you can then leverage other technologies, such as a copper or cable local loop, or a wireless technology. These options will allow you to deliver all the benefits of fiber, complete the connection to the customer and provide competitive ultra-broadband services. And the point at which other technologies can be incorporated will be determined by the balance you need to achieve to enable the business case for each serving area.
Choose the right technology
To bring more bandwidth to more people, consider technology solutions that work together and can scale from dense urban to very rural areas. Fortunately, there are a variety of options:
- Gigabit passive optical network (GPON) can provide residential services of 1 Gb/s as well as business services, mobile backhaul and remote node backhaul for FTTx micro-nodes. The initial capital expenditure for GPON is generally higher than other technologies, but there is a strong return on investment given the longevity of fiber and the potentially unlimited capacity for future services.
- Next-generation passive optical network (NG-PON2) technology can be used to increase capacity in increments of 10 Gb/s and drive increased utility at higher speeds. One of the benefits of GPON networks is that they can be easily upgraded to support NG-PON2.
- XGS-PON provides a cost-effective option. It supports 10/10G and 10/2.5G bit rates with fixed wavelength optics.
- TWDM-PON provides four or more wavelengths per fiber, each capable of delivering symmetrical or asymmetrical bit rates of 2.5 Gb/s or 10 Gb/s.
- G.fast is a flexible technology and a valuable tool in any fiber operator’s toolkit. It enables high-speed broadband services to be delivered to subscriber locations that are impractical for fiber.
- VDSL2 vectoring is available for fiber-to-the-node and fiber-to-the-curb architectures. With the VDSL2 17a profile, downstream speeds of 100 Mb/s can be delivered on copper loops of 2,000 feet or more.
- In some cases, cable can be used to make that final connection between a FTT$ end point and the customer. With DOCSIS® provisioning of EPON (DPoE™) you can deploy fiber networks while managing the Optical Network Unit (ONU) as you would a cable modem.
- Fixed-wireless access that uses the latest 4G LTE and future 5G wireless technologies can be attractive options in hard-to-serve areas. These technologies offer a low-cost alternative to traditional fixed networks.
- Existing DSL networks that are not providing enough throughput can be combined with LTE to create a hybrid access solution that increases speed and stability.
Maximize lifetime value
Ultimately, the right mix of fiber and other technologies will allow you to maximize the lifetime value of your network. By adopting an open and standardized management model and a persistent network representation in the cloud you can eliminate complexity while managing large numbers of micro-nodes (whether on- or off-line). And as standardization and innovation continue to evolve, you will be able to tackle the challenges of network densification, reverse power feeding and the introduction of software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV).
Partner with the right vendor
To enable an integrated approach for any deployment, work with a vendor who can provide and support the full-breadth of fiber, copper, cable and mobile ultra-broadband technologies. Nokia, for example, is the world leader in VDSL2 vectoring and G.fast, the only GPON vendor with a top 3 market position in every region of the globe, a leader in 4G and 5G wireless technology, and the only trusted partner of both tier 1 service providers and countless municipal, rural and regional operators.
For more information about how fiber can be combined with other technologies to provide the right balance for your business case, sign up for the Nokia FTTx webinar at https://goo.gl/fCmf4H