Summer 2018 Optical Connections Magazine



The are some very major FTTP roll-outs currently in progress across the globe all of which testify to the popularity of fibre not only as a long-distance backbone, but also for that all important last mile. While the fibre is acknowledged as being crucial to the success of 5G and indeed IoT, there is a question mark over its ecacy as an access technology, writes Peter Dykes

I n Europe alone, there are fibre optic network in Europe with 33.6 million FTTH accesses, representing around 76% of the population, presently has network coverage with Internet access speeds higher than 100 Mbit/s. These are just examples, but FTTP, whether it be for homes or businesses, is becoming the last-mile technology of choice for many operators and regional authorities around the world. There is however a growing body of opinion that there is a cheaper, but no less ecient solution – Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) THE THREAT FROM FWA A recent report by Ovum’s wireless infrastructure practise leader Daryl Schoolar, suggests there may be a threat to FTTP from Fixed Wireless Access, particularly in the enterprise sector The report, The Growing Appeal Of massive FTTx initiatives under way. In the UK, Vodafone is rolling out FTTP; a 29-city FTTH network is planned by Telecom Italia and Fastweb; and Spain, which has the most extensive

Fixed Wireless Access As An Alternate Fibre-Class Access Method, says that modern IP and internet networks today are generally built on carrier-class Ethernet infrastructure and typically use copper, fibre, or fixed wireless. Copper is generally acknowledged to allow for high-speed, high-quality, short-distance in-building Ethernet transmission but requires short copper loops. Fibre allows for long-distance Ethernet transmission but can be incredibly expensive to build out. FWA, when engineered correctly, is essentially equal to fibre transmission in terms of Ethernet performance, but it comes with lower build costs. Because of this mix of performance and cost, says Schoolar, interest in FWA for Ethernet is growing among both enterprises and service providers. This view is shared, albeit with a nod to fibre, by Jaime Fink, CTO & co-founder of wireless broadband solutions provider Mimosa Networks. He says that while fibre is always preferred when it is a viable option, the economics and time to market elements of deploying fibre have created an exploding need for a

more aordable and rapid-to-deploy broadband solution. He adds that fibre will always be a complementary and necessary backhaul solution to feed fixed wireless networks -

deploying a hybrid fibre-

wireless network ensures consumers and

businesses will receive aordable

fibre-fast services as soon as possible, with none of the disruption, budget overruns and delays of the past. Fink says, “In even the most mature markets around the world, there are normally huge numbers of people that struggle with poor, or even non-existent broadband. This is because the copper cable broadband infrastructures that are responsible for delivering connectivity to so many, fall short in reliability and performance. With internet demand higher than it has ever been, fiber


| ISSUE 13 | Q2 2018

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