Connecting the dots for a future proof FTTx

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Prime Minister of India in his Independence Day speech announced that 6 lakh Indian villages will have Optical Fibre connectivity within next 1000 days. The announcement leads to Government ensuring that 5G connectivity and high-speed Broadband Infrastructure reaches all Indians and they are not deprived of their Digital Dreams.

Moreover, many industry heavyweights across the globe have divested other businesses to focus on the fiber-optic market. Enthusiasm for gigabit broadband, and the high-speed data transmission it delivers, is due to the advantages of fiber over other communications technologies-virtually unlimited bandwidth, increased speed, reliability – to name a few.

The huge amount of funds for and advantages of optical technologies resulted in service providers scrambling to lay cable across India and throughout the world. But unlike a few years ago when simply having an optical network was a significant competitive advantage, communications service providers (CSPs) today realize that true competitive advantage comes from efficiently operating these networks. To achieve greater efficiencies, CSPs must streamline their operations to reduce the amount of equipment required to service the market, reduce the number of people required to deliver these services, and reduce the time required to activate and troubleshoot network problems.

As part of these efforts, many CSPs are renewing their focus on the Business and operational support systems (B/OSSs) and, they are realizing that an efficient B/OSS is critical for gaining a competitive edge. Forward-looking CSPs are benefiting from the significant efficiencies that result from the introduction of today’s new generation of B/OSSs. These modern-day B/OSSs are yielding significant advantages due to the introduction of automated flow-through provisioning also known as zero touch provisioning.

Achieving zero touch provisioning requires the seamless coordination of activities across various software and hardware platforms, geographic locations, active and passive network equipment and communications technologies.

From a high level perspective, the operations can be viewed as three separate layers – namely, the business side, operational side, and the network or delivery side.

The ramifications of these layers working in silos are significant. Hence, looking at the e2e FTTx solution, the era of function ­specific hardware in which discrete systems were used to operate the network is coming to a close and specific tasks are being replaced with virtualised network functions which are increasingly software ­defined. The efficiency and flexibility of this new mode of operation have the potential to enable CSPs to reset their cost of operations to a sustainable level and equip them to participate and compete in the more extensive digital value chain.

The upcoming automated, virtualised, cloud­ enabled telecoms landscape can move CSPs beyond their current challenges, but getting there from here will not be a journey of one huge leap. Instead, a series of steps with new technologies, new processes, and new techniques.

Most essential requirement for CSP is a flexible and cloud native software that seamlessly works across application, infrastructure and connectivity, enabling FTTx providers to automate processes. Moreover, what’s needed is a single view of the network across all the disparate network equipment and software. This can be achieved first by connecting all the systems to create a single view that maps all parts of the heterogeneous network.

Essentially, this means there must be an understanding of all three layers – customer layer, delivery layer and network layer inherent within the system.

Future is here

In today’s fast-moving, always connected and always on society, companies are forced to seriously consider implementing a digital transformation strategy. That being said, the environment for operators, investors and utilities is more challenging than ever and ensuring that the future-proof technology choices and investments are made is essential.

STL helps CSPs by breaking down these silos between business operations, network operations and Passive Optic Networks (PONs), enabling an automated approach to Service Fulfillment, Assurance and Billing that provides CSPs with a data­ driven automation. Using a single platform to centralise and coordinate actions reduces the risk of human error and allows everyone to move faster — building next­gen experiences for customers.

STL’s unified FTTx suite is a cloud-based platform, designed to reduce IT operating and infrastructure costs while scaling flexibly according to demand. It consists of STL’s award winning Digital BSS & OSS stack integrated with STL pFTTX (Programmable FTTX) – Cloud virtualized wireline access solution, using which service providers can have complete control over their network KPIs, while reducing their operational costs. Below are some of the key characteristics of this unified FTTx suite.

STL’s open integrated platform supported by an API-centric design is combined with domain expertise in telecommunications system and services. Each functional element in the suite is open via REST interfaces supporting rapid implementation of advanced automation and integration scenarios.

Moreover, with the complexities in implementing this ultra-high broadband over Passive Optic Networks (PON), working with a vendor that has an expertise in FTTx technology implementation as well as large experience of business support system (B/OSS) can be invaluable differentiator to service providers implementing e2e FTTx solution.

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