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Symbolic Mobile Connectivity

Are you ready for the hype?

If you have followed ProLabs social media feeds over the past year, you know that we’ve been present at many service provider conferences around the world. We’ve attended and contributed to SCTE Cable-Tec EXPO, NGON, FTTH Connect, and FTTH Europe to name a few. We’ve witnessed first hand that the fiber optic world is in the midst of exciting times.

Wireline, Telco, Multiple System Operators, and Wireless service provider networks are each touting next-generation technology rollouts, with great promise to deliver next-generation services. MSOs/CATV providers are rolling out Distributed Access Architectures, pushing digital optics closer to the subscriber. Telco/Wireline providers are looking at next-generation PON as the next step in their network evolution. Meanwhile 5G wireless is hovering over the entire industry as the catalyst for a broader network convergence. In 2018, the promise of widespread deployments and subsequent convergence of any one of these technologies may look more like hype than promise. But the question will persist if your network is ready for the hype?

Distributed Access Architectures (DAA) – ProLabs has led the conversation about the demands deploying SFP-type transceivers deeper into the network to support DAA’s such as RemotePHY, RemoteMAC and digital return path. The most recent trends in this space point towards 10G DWDM SFP+ transceivers deployed in traditional CATV nodes and in outside plant cabinets to support RemotePHY and RemoteMAC. New OEM RemotePHY nodes are requiring these 10G transceivers to be rated for industrial temperatures or even more extreme over 90°C!

Next-Generation PON Architecture

Next-Generation PON – Unlike the upgrade from BPON to GPON, the migration from GPON or EPON to 10G variants will not be a forklift upgrade. Rather, these technologies can coexist on the same network with current next-generation PON variants (XG-PON, XGS-PON, 10GEPON), the near-future generation NG-PON2, and even point-to-point Ethernet services!

Through the use of passive WDM networking, service providers have the tools to leverage existing fiber and PON infrastructure for multiple service offerings, including residential, commercial, and wireless backhaul. Among the many challenges faces by service providers will be finding the right passive elements for their network. Each service provider has unique needs and next-generation PON will be little more than a reference architecture.

5G wireless is the driver for not only network convergence, but the deployment of DAA and next-gen PON. 5G wireless promises data rates up to 10x current LTE services. 5G will rely upon fiber-fed small cells located closer to the subscriber. Much like next-generation PON, 5G will coexist with LTE wireless and existing broadband services. Like DAA, the economics of deploying 5G will deploy digital SFP-type transceiver deeper in the network. DAA and next-gen PON networks are ideal for providing the fiber access and data rates required for 5G fronthaul and backhaul.

Technology cycles are a large reason why we find this industry exciting! Yet the promise of new technologies always come with the caveat of hype. In reality, we are one, two, maybe three years away from large scale RemotePHY, NGPON2 or 5G wireless deployments. With that said, it is not too early ask if you are ready for the hype.

Raymond Hagen

Americas Product Manager