Broadband Communities

MAY-JUN 2014

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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62 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | MAY/JUNE 2014 TECHNOLOGY allowing the operator to enhance the consumer experience. EVOLVING TO ALL-FIBER NETWORKS Tough these network changes will extend the lives of current infrastructures and allow operators to maximize their return on infrastructure investment, bandwidth requirements will continue to grow beyond the capabilities of current infrastructure. Given the known limitations of current HFC infrastructure, the time is rapidly approaching for operators to start evolving new (greenfeld) networks toward the future by deploying converged, all-optical, IP service–based platforms. Tree key technologies will form the basis of this transition. Metro Ethernet. Most cable operators are already deploying Metro Ethernet capabilities over fber. To compete for and win large business opportunities, operators started deploying 10GbE systems capable of synchronous capacity to support the requirements of this growth segment. With dedicated fber already in place to support businesses, operators have the capability to increase bandwidth capacity through a migration of 10 to 40 to 100GbE as demand increases. As most broadband operators are constrained by fber availability, they will need to fnd faster, more cost-efective means of connecting businesses with fber. PON. A point-to-multipoint optical network is the most cost-efective method of enhancing IP infrastructure and is capable of addressing residential subscribers and small to medium enterprises that require less than 10 Gbps bandwidth. DOCSIS Provisioning over EPON allows a simple migration of existing back-ofce functions to a PON network that delivers Ethernet/ IP services. Te recent developments of turbo mode and 10G EPON upgrades at an EPON optical line terminal created a cost-efective upgrade path for future service and bandwidth expansions. Tough an EPON solution provides adequate fnancial returns for expanding networks into 200- to 300- home new builds, Radio Frequency over Glass (RFoG or RF PON) cost- efectively integrates smaller new builds into existing HFC infrastructure. By using an RFoG solution, an operator can built out PON fber infrastructure without incurring the headend costs associated with the conversion to PON. RFoG has the same upstream bandwidth limitations as HFC, but using it eliminates the need for future infrastructure investment when the time comes to convert to a converged Ethernet/IP platform over an optical infrastructure. If demand supports a bandwidth increase to critical customers, an EPON overlay can be added to the RFoG network to eliminate upstream limitations. Wave Division Multiplexing (WDM). Fiber can support other networks beyond Metro Ethernet for enterprises and PON for residents and small businesses. Once they install fber, MSO operators possess the three critical elements for wireless backhaul capacity – power source, real estate access and bandwidth potential – and their networks can expand into hosting wireless small-cell access points. With 4G/LTE coverage the next challenge for wireless carriers, operators see the opportunity to harvest additional revenue from their networks. Digital conversion of wireless trafc may allow efective backhaul over existing and proposed network deployments, but universal or multicarrier access points could easily strip the available capacity of the network, and dedicating additional fber from the existing network limits future expansion, if it is even available. Using WDM systems, which carry separate streams of information over multiple wavelengths, to route and support wireless trafc over their optical networks would allow operators to establish small-cell infrastructures to support wireless carriers. With the HFC, Metro Ethernet and PON wavelengths already defned, additional wavelengths could be identifed to create remote connectivity to wireless cell structures. NETWORKS OF TOMORROW Tomorrow's networks will look diferent and operate diferently from the networks deployed today. Convergence to Ethernet/IP-based services will be required to efectively address bandwidth demand over an ever-expanding number of devices. Infrastructure Challenges. HFC outside-plant (OSP) network architecture continues to evolve as service requirements change and bandwidth demands increase. Tough physical plant confguration remains relatively fxed, the evolutionary change has been and continues to be pushing fber deeper into networks. Fiber frst augmented and is now replacing coaxial cables to subscribers. Te rate of fber conversion will continue to accelerate. Te challenge in supporting and planning for ongoing fber demand is the cost of building or reconstructing an operator's OSP. Recognizing that construction costs will continue to rise, CommScope worked with major operators to develop a product ofering that enables them to deploy fber faster and cheaper today or in the future. Te Electrical-to-Optical (E 2 O) product family was designed to enable electrical-to-optical conversion in a way that minimizes construction and cost. Tis customer-defned solution incorporates a combination of coaxial cables, fber cables, conduit and microducts as a single element. Te cables and microducts are combined either as cable-in-conduit with cables and microducts preinstalled or in an overjacket confguration. Network operators can take steps today to reduce the costs of their eventual upgrades to the networks of tomorrow. BBC_May14.indd 62 5/29/14 9:19 AM

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