& cplSiteName &

Data Boom Brings Fiber Monitoring Into Focus

Dan O'Shea
Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
Dan O'Shea, Analyst, Heavyreading.com
2/9/2017
50%
50%

Super Bowl LI made history in more ways than one. Sure, it featured the largest comeback ever in the big game, as the New England Patriots rose from 25 points down to tie and then beat the Atlanta Falcons. However, it also accounted for the most data usage ever during a Super Bowl, according to several reports.

AT&T, for example, said data usage over its network was almost twice what it was during last year's Super Bowl, and other carriers made similar claims. That's a lot of stress on networks, and ultimately helps highlight the importance of effectively monitoring those networks -- not only the wireless facilities that all the devices in use are connecting with, but particularly the fiber networks that must support all of that data.

Fiber network monitoring has always been a necessary part of network management, but now it is becoming an even bigger responsibility, and key to carrier competitiveness. Operators have more fiber in their networks than ever, and fiber density within specific markets is constantly increasing.

Not only that, but the fiber network landscape continues to grow more complex, with so many different types of companies owning fiber or leasing it. This complexity creates a patchwork of responsibility, in which it is not always easy to determine who should be responsible for repairing a fiber cut -- and further highlights the importance of effective monitoring.

But the sheer quantity of fiber or the complex nature of fiber-leasing arrangements are not the biggest reasons that fiber network monitoring is more important than ever. It's not so much about the network at all, but the services being carried. Or, to put it another way, it's all about the quality of the bits.

Monitoring fiber networks goes hand-in-hand with service assurance. It's difficult to decouple one from the other; nor should we try. So it's important to have dependable tools for monitoring fiber spans, such as full-featured optical time domain reflectometers, and to consider monitoring not just a method of looking for cuts, but also the important practice of looking for trends in degradation and loss throughout the network that could be signs of problems to come.

Fiber monitoring has become important enough that some transmission systems now include monitoring capabilities that traditionally have been housed in dedicated monitoring tools. That practice may save operators some money and labor hours, but they also need to be careful about evaluating such integrated tools to be sure that key functions and performance have not been sacrificed in the name of expense.

The data usage we saw during the Super Bowl was an event-driven spike, but managing networks for optimum performance is a daily obligation, a key aspect in creating a positive customer experience. If your fiber monitoring practices and tools don't enable you to sense all forms and levels of degradation, you will probably lose some faith in your ability to detect and prevent problems -- and your customers, in turn, could lose their faith in you.

This blog is sponsored by EXFO.

— Dan O'Shea, Analyst, Heavy Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
More Blogs from Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
The use of artificial intelligence by telcos is currently limited, but the Acumos AI Project looks set to make machine learning applications more easily created and readily available.
Cable is moving in on the wireless market, with many exciting opportunities opening up across the board, including in WiFi, mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) and 5G.
On July 27, Nick Read will become Vodafone Group CEO designate before assuming the role of Group CEO on October 1. What can we expect from the operator's current CFO once he's in the hot seat?
More than half the communications services providers surveyed for this report expect to have 5G backhaul ready by 2020, even though they still do not know which vendors they plan to use for this step.
Mobile operators may find that all their investments in VoLTE and RCS are for naught as OTT providers win and they are left monetizing the data pipe.
Featured Video
From The Founder
John Chambers is still as passionate about business and innovation as he ever was at Cisco, finds Steve Saunders.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
September 12, 2018, Los Angeles, CA
September 24-26, 2018, Westin Westminster, Denver
October 9, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
October 23, 2018, Georgia World Congress Centre, Atlanta, GA
November 6, 2018, London, United Kingdom
November 7-8, 2018, London, United Kingdom
November 8, 2018, The Montcalm by Marble Arch, London
November 15, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
December 4-6, 2018, Lisbon, Portugal
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Telecom Jargonosaurus Part 1: Repeat Offenders
Iain Morris, News Editor, 7/13/2018
Broadcom Buys CA – Huh?
Mitch Wagner, Executive Editor, Light Reading, 7/11/2018
Verizon Taps Malady as Acting CTO
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 7/12/2018
Get Off My Wireline Lawn!
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/17/2018
Eurobites: EU Socks Google With $5B Monster-Fine for Android Control-Freakery
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 7/18/2018
Animals with Phones
Casual Tuesday Takes On New Meaning Click Here
When you forget your pants.
Live Digital Audio

A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed