All-optical networks, from access through to the transport layer, are critical for national digital economies. According to the World Bank a 10% increase in fixed broadband penetration would increase GDP by 1.21% in developed economies and 1.38% in developing ones.
Fiber is not simply about fixed-line broadband. Connecting dense clusters of cellular sites with high-speed fiber links enables much better customer experiences when using mobile networks.
Moreover, if done right, all-optical networks can help carriers’ operations become more agile. They can shorten time-to-market of services that match home, enterprise and public sector performance requirements when it comes to bandwidth, latency, and reliability. Greater availability of “end-to-end” fiber means a faster pace of digital innovation and steeper economic growth.
Latin American carriers have the opportunity, then, for a sustainable, cost-effective, and future-proof migration from legacy copper or Cable access technologies to FTTH — supported by an optical transport network (OTN) — using various infrastructure innovations.
This was the main message from William Yue, Chief marketing officer at Huawei’s fixed network business, in his keynote address at the inaugural LATAM ICT Congress — organized by Huawei with the support of GSMA Intelligence and ITU — in Cancun, Mexico.
Entitled “Intelligent Premium Networks Connecting Digital LATAM,” Yue’s speech focused on how to bridge the gap between the region’s service requirements and capabilities of carriers’ network infrastructure.
“How do we bridge that gap?” Yue asked Congress delegates. “Let me introduce the FIBRA solution.” Huawei’s all-optical migration solution, explained Yue, is specifically tailored for the needs of Latin America.
FIBRA digital transformation
FIBRA is Spanish for fiber. It is also an acronym spelling out in detail Huawei’s all-optical migration solution. FIBRA stands for Fusion, Intelligence, Bandwidth, Reliability and Automation.
Fusion, in Yue’s words, essentially means “one network for multiple services.” Based on standards developed by ETSI Industry Specification Group (ISG) Fifth Generation Fixed Network (F5G), Huawei’s “fusion” network proposition, serving both homes and businesses, covers three areas: architecture, sites, and devices.
Fusion architecture describes a simplified “IP plus optical” layer. “Compared with traditional IP ring-shape architecture, the '‘IP plus optical’ tree-shape architecture is more stable and cost efficient,” said Yue. “You only need to upgrade node bandwidth instead of building another ring.”
Fusion sites are in either the central office or outdoor cabinet, where OLT (optical line terminal) and OTN cards, along with IP devices, occupy the same chassis. Fusion network devices come in two flavors: a combined OTN/OXC (optical cross-connect) device; and an all-in-one network device capable of supporting Broadband Network Gateway (BNG), Carrier Grade Network Address Translation (CGN), Internet Protocol Security (IPSec), and Service Router (SR).
Using a “fusion” deployment of this sort, asserted Yue, carriers can more easily evolve their networks in terms of bandwidth, as well save as reduce opex, through lower power consumption and less demand on space. “TCO can be reduced by 30% over a ten-year period,” he said.
At the heart of FIBRA intelligence, or “intelligentized fiber” as Huawei calls it, is accurate visibility of carriers’ fiber inventory using high-definition digital maps. By identifying underused fiber assets —spotting “fake” occupied optical distribution network (ODN) ports, for example, or flagging available wavelengths —carriers can not only reduce wastage but also increase network redundancy.
According to Yue, intelligentized fiber solution can shave 20% off carriers’ overall fiber investment, and truck roll time can be reduced by up to 40%. Premium point-to-point private line services are also better protected.
Bandwidth, reliability, automation
Huawei frames FIBRA bandwidth firmly in the context of sustainability and how to break the vicious cycle of more energy consumption to achieve bandwidth growth. Yue highlighted an array of Huawei innovations designed to give “more bits with less watts.”
Among them were AirPON, Huawei’s outdoor optical access solution, which can purportedly reduce power consumption by 60% compared with copper access technologies. By adopting its range of green bandwidth solutions, said Yue, Huawei can reduce Latin American carrier’s power consumption by half over ten years, even as bandwidth demands evolve over that period.
FIBRA reliability is based on moving away from best effort to deterministic latency and availability. “On-demand differentiated experiences is the foundation of business monetization for telecom operators in the future,” said Yue.
Home broadband differentiation is based on Huawei’s fiber-to-the-room (FTTR) solution, as well as Wi-Fi and OLT slice technology, which can deliver “gold”, “silver”, and “bronze” level service experiences, each of which is guaranteed.
Slice based slice technology, explained Yue, can provide intelligent cloud and a “premium private line one-stop experience”, as well as bandwidth on demand service. “With OTN OSU based hard pipe technology”, added Yue, “deterministic service experience is absolutely guaranteed for governments and big corporations.”
FIBRA automation revolves around Huawei’s Autonomous Driving Network (ADN) innovation, which it has been developing for some time. Yue drew attention in his keynote speech to various “experience aware” technologies, such as OLT Access Edge Computing (AEC), IP In-situ Flow Information Telemetry (iFIT), OTN, and Conflict-Free Parallel Detection (CFPD) — alongside Fiber HD maps — that can help carriers develop on-demand self-provisioning and ensure SLA stability. Intelligent fault prediction that enable proactive O&M, added Yue, can cut carriers’ opex by 30%.
“FIBRA defines the next-generation fixed network in terms of fusion architecture, intelligent optical fiber, bandwidth evolution, reliable differentiated experience, and autonomous driving network,” concluded Yue in his keynote address at LATAM ICT Congress. “It will support future-oriented continuous evolution.”
This content is sponsored by Huawei.