New digital use cases are shaping our lives in ways which were once unimaginable. As these applications, services and devices emerge, users want more bandwidth, better speed and greater customer experience.
As a result, how this can be matched with increased bitrates and lower latency is one of the biggest challenges service providers face. To make this a reality, last-mile performance and bandwidth must scale to meet the demands of an increasing subscriber base. Service providers must make this happen while reducing the cost of last-mile connectivity and finding ways to effectively monetise last-mile assets.
To unlock the full potential of gigabit broadband, service providers must drastically reduce the time-to-market for new digital services, while setting the ball rolling for edge computing by disaggregating broadband networks and re-architecting central offices. The answer to this challenge lies in Programmable Fibre-to-the-x (pFTTx).
The fibre future is bright with pFTTx
To overcome these hurdles, service providers must design and deploy integrated network infrastructures which can support last-mile connectivity, including Passive Optical Networks (PONs) and Mobile Radio Access Networks (RANs). Traditionally, this has required significant investment, creating a significant roadblock and leaving service providers at a standstill.
If service providers are to meet customers’ ever-increasing demands, they must change the way they look at their Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) models. While TCO reduction remains a key objective, service providers are realising that a programmable, open and disaggregated multi-access network can help them map their business requirements faster and align their technical roadmap with this.
When transitioning to Software Defined Networks (SDNs), the first step for service providers is to re-architect their central office through the disaggregation of hardware from the software layer. This can open up new possibilities, such as software abstraction, which can increase network agility, which will ultimately reduce the time taken to roll-out new services.
As part of this, the next-generation PON can function as the access backbone for any other last-mile technology. Once this programmable and open infrastructure is extended to the last mile, the next step is to prepare for wireless technologies like 5G and ongoing capacity augmentation for 4G/LTE. With fibre available to the last mile, the network is ready for subsequent densification to the stringent requirements of 5G. The provisioning of dark fibre or having next-generation programmable PON will not only address 4G and 5G front-haul requirements but also enable roll-out readiness – ensuring faster time-to-market of innovative 5G services.
STL has the answer
While the transition to an SDN may seem overwhelming, one technology innovator which is dedicated to enabling service providers to transform their existing FTTx networks to a pFTTx is Sterlite Technologies Limited (STL).
STL has developed the Programmable, Open and Disaggregated Solutions (PODS) which addresses service providers’ key challenges. Leveraging Open Networking Foundation (ONF) specifications such as SEBA, Trellis and COMA, PODS is designed to make pFTTx and Programmable Radio (pRadio) a reality.
With a solution such as this in place, service providers can have complete control over their own network, while reducing their hardware and software costs. By making the last-mile network programmable and agile, control over translating business requirements to technical features can be opened up, meaning service providers’ infrastructure will become lock-in free. Furthermore, open infrastructure at the last-mile can significantly reduce the time-to-market of premium and innovative services, as well as generate additional revenues per-user – all while ensuring better quality of experience and reducing subscriber churn.
As a result, millions of people and devices can be seamlessly connected – shaping a new, and bright future for broadband.