Broadband Communities

OCT 2018

BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.

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MDU TECHNOLOGY 3 4 | B R O A D B A N D C O M M U N I T I E S | w w w. b r o a d b a n d c o m m u n i t i e s . c o m | O C T O B E R 2 0 1 8 A Tale of Two Signals Installing converged fiber and 5G wireless networks in the same MDU or MTU building is challenging, but new equipment makes it feasible. By Kevin Morgan / Clearfield A s the classic literary work says, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." 5G is coming, and so are the headaches and deployment challenges. Providing traditional broadband services for customers in multiple-dwelling-unit (MDU) and multi-tenant-unit (MTU) properties has now converged with providing 5G wireless services. Designers and installers need to meet that challenge. e good news is that new products can help. Because greenfield and brownfield MDU/ MTU broadband deployments are unique and represent a huge market opportunity for providers, the convergence of wired systems with 5G is nearly inevitable. Because a robust 5G network depends on a strong fiber backbone network, this convergence seems ideal for achieving a seamless network experience. However, achieving this experience sometimes sounds much easier than it is in reality. MDUs pose physical challenges in both greenfield and brownfield deployments, although greenfield is somewhat less challenging in most cases. To address these deployments, manufacturers such as Clearfield have developed specialized tools for designers and installers. Notably, the introduction of robust microducts and pushable fiber, coupled with a preconnectorized fiber solution, has made the greatest impact on in-building wiring since the advent of twisted-pair wire. When 5G is added, the challenges multiply. In a traditional MDU build, a provider services only the tenants of that particular building. But with the introduction of 5G, the building network will be part of an overarching 5G ecosystem. With this expanded scope, the designer and installer need to ensure that the new network is robust (in terms of data rates and coverage) and physically protected. e design must also allow for quick restoration in case any damage occurs to a network component. DESIGNING THE MICRODUCT Taking all this into account, designing a microduct infrastructure inside the building and providing a pathway within it for 5G network components is a critical first step. With independent pathways, the designer can tailor the deployment to suit the needs of the particular MDU/MTU. is infrastructure allows the pathways to converge in a common equipment location and sets the groundwork for subsequent technology innovations – preconnectorized fiber in single and multiple counts and scalable connectivity locations that allow for growth and deployment of multiple services within the same frame. DEPLOYING FIBER FOR FTTU AND 5G Now that the microduct pathway provides a route and physical protection, the next logical step is to deploy fibers for resident use and for the 5G network elements. In most cases, one or two fibers can serve all the bandwidth needs for an MDU resident, and a small microduct, such as a 10/6mm size (outer diameter/inner diameter), will do just fine. When multiple fibers are needed, something

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