Contributed Article

by CommScope

How will you maximise profitability for your next-generation networks in areas of low subscriber density – rural areas, for example – where there’s less revenue per square mile?

As with any network roll out, you need to keep your capital infrastructure costs down by maximising the capacity of your existing facilities and also choosing hardware that will last. At the same time, you need to minimise your operating costs by architecting your network both for service reliability, and so that it’s quick and easy for you to add new subscribers and deliver new features.

In areas of low subscriber density, these costs will be under scrutiny like never before. Yes, there is new public funding to build next-gen passive optical networks (PONs) in remote areas. But it comes with strings attached. You’ll need to demonstrate the financial viability of your plans and prove that you can deploy them quickly enough. So, there’s more to think about.

Make major savings on your infrastructure and deploy much faster

Of course, the main challenge with serving areas of low subscriber density is the often-prohibitive costs of building or leasing physical facilities to house equipment to serve user locations nearby, due to range limitations with PON system. You can, however, now reduce your overall costs by deploying remote optical line terminals (OLT) that can be placed closer to end-user locations.

By deploying environmentally hardened remote optical line terminals (R-OLTs) suited to be deployed in outdoor cabinets, operators can avoid the need to build or lease active cooled and expensive Central Office space. The R-OLTs accept long-range optic links as network side interfaces to fewer centralized facilities from where the network can be managed. R-OLTs are more physically robust than traditional OLTs, making them also fit for transport when pre-installed in street cabinets. At the same time, this approach makes sure that operators do not deploy more OLT ports than are strictly required for the target service area.

Right-size your hardware deployment to optimise CapEx

Indeed, these cabinet-based R-OLTs also enable the most cost-effective deployment of infrastructure for very small geographic areas, while providing capacity for future growth. You can deploy them initially with low port counts and high split ratios (1:128), and then scale them by adding ports and moving to a lower split ratio (1:64) as necessary.

Slash your operating costs through easier management and fewer visits to site

Deploying R-OLT and shelf OLT devices that run modern software means that they can be managed remotely more easily. That enables them to be configured more flexibly as their roles evolve, and it also means major savings in time and travel to their locations. Advanced software capabilities enable modern R-OLTs to be provisioned with zero touch and managed automatically.

Choose the right fibre technologies and topologies for your specific project

You can also reduce the costs of fibre deployment through your choice of technology and topology. Placing R-OLTs deep in your network means the last active device is positioned much closer to subscribers than is possible with centralised facilities. That improves performance to users’ homes, gives you more choice in split ratios, helps you extend service over longer distances, and also enables you to connect new subscribers more quickly.

Meanwhile, cascaded, tap and indexing network topologies offer savings over traditional centralised topologies. Using plug-and-play connectors, and being able to speed up a number of tasks, means significantly reduced labour requirements and deployment time.

Optimize your network now for years of service

If you’re currently implementing XGS PON, then now is your chance to architect your networks for the best possible performance and subscriber growth. Effective planning can ensure your network is future-ready, reduce costs, and enable you to launch new features faster. For instance, a software-defined network (SDN) architecture built on modern microservices will run faster and make it easier for you to onboard PON systems.

For more information on all the options available, please read our eBook, ‘A Comprehensive Guide to Next Gen PON Decisions’.


Want to learn more from CommScope? Join them in discussion at Connected Britain 2022, taking place tomorrow live in London

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