In a bid to address the growing requirement of a high-speed data network, Globe, the Philippines’ largest service provider, decided to use Huawei’s innovative AirPON solution to bring down the deployment time, reduce the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and provide superior services to its subscribers. We got a chance to learn more from Joel Agustin, Senior Vice President of Project Delivery & Project Governance, Globe Philippines, at Huawei AirPON Commercial Release Conference today.

In line with the global trend, the Philippines is also experiencing massive growth in broadband consumption. In 2019, 70.7% of the Philippines population was using the internet, but this will increase to 77.1% by 2025, according to Statista. While mobile broadband penetration is more than 100%, the home broadband has just a little over 20%. Nearly 65.4% of the country’s population accessed the internet from their mobile devices in 2019, says Statista data. 
There is a growing need for high-speed home broadband service using fiber technology. The relevance of ultra-high-speed fixed network is particularly high now, during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as more and more people are using digital platforms to work from home. 
As the data consumption continues to rise, the telcos need to enhance the home broadband infrastructure to meet the growing data requirement. "Fixed broadband penetration in the Philippines remains relatively low mainly due to a limited number of fixed lines and the dominance of the mobile platform, which has, in turn, driven the mobile broadband market," says offering. 
There is also a significant revenue potential from home broadband for the service providers. Globe, the Philippines’ biggest service provider, says that the home broadband segment is witnessing a compounded growth rate of more than 20% in the last five years. The service provider has also set up a full-service operation strategy to build full-fiber access networks.
Faster deployment of home broadband is then crucial to meet the growing demands of broadband and accelerate its digital economy. The service providers face three main challenges while building a home broadband network. Complex and time-consuming approval procedures to secure permits to lay fiber leads to delay. Secondly, site acquisition to host optical access devices further adds to the challenges of building a fiber network. What further adds to the deployment challenge is the time required for trenching, cable laying, and fiber splicing. 
AirPON To Hasten FTTH Deployment 
A technology-solution was required to bring down the deployment time for a full-fiber access network. Globe opted for Huawei’s AirPON solution to build a state-of-the-art network to help Filipinos use fixed broadband for overall social and economic growth. Together Huawei and Globe have created the world’s first commercial AirPON network. 
“We used Huawei’s AirPON in our deployment in Tarlac City near Manila. Huawei’s AirPON solution helps us to efficiently roll out FTTH networks with simple ROW [Right of Way] permitting and site acquisition and enables us to quickly provision fiber broadband services. We will use the AirPON solution to cover high-value, highly challenging areas to deliver fiber broadband services, with a minimum bandwidth of 100 Mbps based on an all-optical access network,” says Agustin.
There are several reasons why AirPON is emerging as a solution of choice for the service providers that want to expedite network deployment to bring the best-in-class high-speed and low latency broadband services to their subscribers. 
A key advantage of using AirPON is that it uses the existing base stations and fixed-mobile backhaul sharing approach, which helps bring down the deployment time. 
"Typically, a traditional ODN covers a distance of around 7 km, but with Huawei’s AirPON, the ODN distance is only 1-2 km. Essentially this means that much fewer optical cables need to be deployed. For Globe, this meant that the acquisition of the Right of Way becomes much easier, and the network construction is faster and more efficient," explains Agustin. 
With Huawei’s AirPON, Globe was able to bring down the time required for ROW and acquisition activity from eight months to three months for deployment in Tarlac City near Manila. 
Further, Huawei’s AirPON is much easier to deploy. Typically, aerial optical cable requires at least ten steps and involves several processes, including complicated fiber splicing, cable routing, and sealing. AirPON brings it down to three stages, thus simplifying the deployment process and reducing the time required to set up the network. 
Another major advantage of using Huawei’s AirPON solution was a dramatic reduction in site acquisition time when compared with traditional Central Office (CO) mode. Typically, OLTs are installed in the CO which requires as much as six months for preparation. “Huawei’s outdoor compact design blade OLT comes with built-in pre-connection interfaces which supports plug and play and helped us to bring down the deployment time to less than three days,” says Agustin. 
Powered by Huawei’s AirPON, Globe’s modernized network allows it to introduce several new services like 4K and Cloud VR to enhance user loyalty, bring down the churn rate and increase Average Revenue Per User.