BBWF 2015: The Year G.fast Came of Age

If you missed last week’s Broadband World Forum event in London, there is one technology that stole the show: G.fast. No matter where you turned, what news you read or which conversation you had, BBWF 2015 was all about G.fast. There were real products, real customer performance stories and numerous operators demonstrating the real services that they plan to deliver thanks to this game changing technology.

Industry enthusiasm was tangible, which was refreshing to see. Many conversations in recent years have centered around the ‘ifs’ associated with G.fast, as in if a service provider could find it feasible to deploy services, if a business case could be built to justify G.fast, and only then if the results of their G.fast trials or lab tests verified the early performance claims. Last week, the focus shifted to when service providers will deploy, and what types of services they envisage delivering over G.fast technology.

In some ways, I felt a bit like a parent watching their first child go off to school. Back at BBWF in 2010, ADTRAN introduced the industry to the early concepts of fibre-to-the-distribution point, including reverse powered low density sealed micro nodes.  At the time, these innovations were met with some scepticism but, today, they have evolved and developed into the foundations upon which the G.fast industry now stands. Fast-forward five years, and I was able to see the fruition of these efforts as I walked the show floor and saw how G.fast has not only become a reality, but is rapidly gaining traction in more and more markets.

While the industry has clearly settled on the idea that G.fast is here to stay, BBWF offered several other interesting themes projecting the evolution of advanced broadband technology.

IMG 6994 300x300 BBWF 2015: The Year G.fast Came of AgeThere were several questions about Europe’s status in the global Gigabit arena. Fibre has been driving that trend in North America, and ADTRAN continues to see tremendous success with its Enabling Communities, Connecting Lives programme highlighting more than 200 US communities that now have access to Gigabit services via FTTH. In Europe, the drive to Gigabit broadband is beginning and, while lagging behind the US and APAC markets, is likely to gain ground quickly thanks to the capabilities brought with G.fast. Hot on the heels of G.fast acceptance were strong expressions of interest in bonded copper as a means to deliver Gigabit-level services.

Another area we’re paying close attention to is G.fast’s shift from FTTdp to FTTCab implementations. Through 50+ customer trials of G.fast, we’ve seen some tremendous results using ADTRAN technology innovations that have significantly exceeded performance expectations, particularly on longer loops. At the same time, while today’s G.fast solutions are about leveraging existing assets to deliver next generation services, service providers have articulated the need for them to operate within emerging SDN architectures. Deploying a cloud-optimised G.fast solution supporting modern, open interfaces provides operators the benefit of vendor-neutral control and ensures their broadband customers benefit from the rapid delivery of best network and subscriber applications available.  These are only some of the exciting developments emerging in this space, so stay tuned to see what comes next.

Commercial deployments are in the early stages with most slated to begin in 2016, so what we witnessed last week is still just the beginning. Given the fact G.fast allows service providers to deliver higher speed services at a greater speed and scale, while maximising their existing infrastructure investment, I suspect the best is yet to come. I can’t wait to see what BBWF 2016 brings.


Ronan Kelly is ADTRAN Chief Technology Officer for the EMEA and APAC regions

Permanent link to this article: http://carrier.adtran.com/bbwf-2015-the-year-g-fast-came-of-age/


Adtran x DressHead.com Womens Halter Dress – Pink Chiffon Silk / Short Length / Gathered Chest Area

This Adtran x DressHead.com Womens Halter Dress – Pink Chiffon Silk / Short Length / Gathered Chest Area comes in three distinct colors: pink, blue, and brown. The high collar has ruffles at the top and then ruffles cascade down the bodice. The high waist means your shape will be nicely accented, and the short length of the skirt will let you show off your sexy legs. It’s the perfect dress to wear to a summery picnic, a night out with friends, or on a first date. Wear with a classy black heel and accentuate the colors with a colorful hair accessory and a solid colored bracelet for a traditional, beautiful look. The small(S) size measurements for this Adtran x DressHead.com Womens Halter Dress – Pink Chiffon Silk / Short Length / Gathered Chest Area are: the length is 88 centimeters; the circumference is 80 centimeters to 84 centimeters; and the waist is 68 centimeters to 70 centimeters.

1 219x296 custom1 Adtran x DressHead.com Womens Halter Dress   Pink Chiffon Silk / Short Length / Gathered Chest Area

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The Smart City Paradox

We have all quickly become accustomed to enjoying and relying on the conveniences of  technology.  My smart phone tells me the weather and the news, keeps me current on email, connected with my friends on social media, and can summon an Uber ride at the click of a button.  How did we ever live without being connected 24/7?  I was at a dinner over the weekend and a debate ensued over the name of the plant in the table arrangement.  My wife whipped out her smartphone, clicked open an App called “Leafsnap” and instantly settled the debate.

While it’s handy to be able to lock my home remotely and view my property remotely from a webcam, broadband connectivity also promises to solve some serious macro issues such as the environmental challenges of urbanization.  “Smart Cities” are at the forefront of this evolution.  By leveraging emerging information and communications technology (ICT), these cities are seeing population growth attributed to the resulting increase in economic activity, improved transportation efficiency and an overall enhanced quality of life for its citizens.  That is, the efficiency gains enable the creation of environmentally friendly mega cities that are capable of safely increasing population density in a sustainable manner.  In short, people will flock to these large Smart Cities for high quality jobs, innovation and economic prosperity.  …Or will they?  While the concept of Smart Cities is highly reliant on greater broadband connectivity, my observation is that as connectivity becomes more pervasive, the less people are drawn to big cities.  Hence the Smart City paradox.

What is a Smart City?

There are a number of definitions of a Smart City but they typically involve 6 main components:

  1. Economic Development
  2. Mobility
  3. A Sustainable Improved Environment
  4. Education Infrastructure Modernization
  5. Quality of Life (creative culture, safety, security, efficiency)
  6. E-Government

A combination of factors led to the concept of Smart Cities which foresees the implementation of Gigabit broadband connectivity as a solution to many of the current urban problems. This would be achieved by increasing economic activity – thereby reducing  intercity poverty – a reduction in crime via improved surveillance and faster police response, less traffic as a result of telecommuting and online schooling, and increased reliance on public transportation, which also alleviates concerns over rising  levels of greenhouse gases.  These mega-cities see the opportunity to leverage emerging information and communications technology (ICT) to address further urbanization growth.  All of the productivity gains enable the creation of an environmentally friendly city that is capable of safely increasing its population density in a sustainable manner.

Gigabit Communities

In 2011, Google launched Google Fiber which proved to be a highly successful disruptive event that has spurred the Gigabit broadband race across America.  Just like we witness with a CVS going across the street from every Walgreens, the “NFL cities” have been blanketed with Gigabit service announcements and deployments from the Tier 1 Telcos and Multiple Systems Operators (MSOs).  Rural Co-ops have been leveraging Federal funds to deploy Fiber-To-The-Premise (FTTP) for years. This leaves the bulk of America at risk of being left behind. These are communities too small for Google Fiber consideration (and the matching Gigabit broadband deployments by the Tier 1s) and too big to be eligible for Federal broadband subsidies. As a result, these communities have been taking matters into their own hands to work with local and regional operators to transform their towns into Gigabit Communities.

These Gigabit Communities range from former textile towns such as Rock Hill, SC to a former cotton community such as Jackson, TN to dairy farms in Northwest Indiana to rural Mississippi.  By the end of 2015, over 200 communities across the country will become “Gigabit Communities.”   Without  Gigabit broadband initiatives, these towns were at risk of losing the next generation to bigger cities. However the launch of Gigabit services in their communities has been the key catalyst for economic growth and development. A FTTH Council study of 14 communities with Gigabit deployed found a direct positive impact of 1.1 points on GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth over similar communities. For those non-economists, GDP growth rate of around 2% is considered flat (like treading water).  Communities with a 2-4% GDP growth rate are healthy and robust, so imagine what a 1.1% increase in GDP can mean for a community’s overall economic picture.

While communities enjoy the boost in their local economy, their citizens also see an immediate benefit in their home values.  The FTTH Council commissioned a recent study with the University of Colorado at Boulder which found that Gigabit services increases home values by 3.1%.  On a $175,000 home, this Gigabit effect increases the homeowner’s equity by nearly $5,500 or about the same as adding a fireplace or half the value of adding a bathroom.

The Smart City Paradox

While a Gigabit services infrastructure is paramount for Smart Cities to gain the necessary efficiencies to increase their population densities for urbanization while reducing environmental impact, Gigabit Communities have become a magnet for high tech workers, their employers and entrepreneurs. It turns out there no longer needs to be a tradeoff between quality of life and proximity to high paying jobs. Gigabit broadband puts it all within reach.  As the innovative jet set move to these smaller towns, their suppliers follow along with hotels, restaurants, retail and other industries that seek growth opportunities.

As a result, the more Gigabit infrastructure that is deployed across the country, the more urban dwellers will realize the work/life benefits of living in the “smart” communities outside of the big cities.




Permanent link to this article: http://carrier.adtran.com/the-smart-city-paradox/


Three Ways SP Networks will Change

The demand for faster Internet connectivity is expanding at a staggering rate. Many industry analysts predict that Internet traffic will increase between 20 and 30 percent each year, and Cisco Visual Networking Index predicts that video traffic will increate to 80% of all IP traffic. Trends contributing to increased bandwidth demand include an increase in the number of connected devices per person and record growth in subscriptions to over-the-top video services, such as Netflix. In addition, the NCTA reports that the cable industry now has more broadband subscribers than video subscribers. With an ever-increasing bandwidth demand, 50 gigabit cities in the US and counting, and tremendous growth in the consumption of over the top video, many operators are looking for ways to reduce OpEx and build an all-fiber, flexible network that will satisfy the growing demand for many years to come.

Automate Service Delivery through APIs

Application Program Interfaces (APIs) provide an interface that can be used by a service provider’s back office systems to control network elements such as CMTSs, DSLAMs, and FTTH aggregation platforms. By selecting aggregation equipment that offers APIs such as REST, Netconf, and YANG, Cable MSOs, telcos, and other operators are able to automate provisioning processes, which reduces the headcount and time required to provision a new subscriber and eliminates problems with service delivery. Most importantly, automation in service delivery moves operators closer to software-defined networking (SDN) where end-users can choose from additional service offerings through an operator-provided portal without the need for a truck roll.

DWDM and NG-PON2 for Scalable Access and Transport Networks

Fiber optic cable has been a part of the service delivery network for decades. However, installing new fiber can be costly, especially in densely-populated areas where it is needed most. Technologies such as Dense Wave Division Multiplexing (DWDM) allow operators to layer multiple services on top of each other on the same fiber, which increases the capacity of the transport network. In addition, new fiber to the home (FTTH) technologies such as Next Generation Passive Optical Network Stage 2 (NG-PON2) provide scalability in the fiber access network by using Time and Wavelength Division Multiplexing (TWDM), allowing service providers to deploy a single 10-gigabit access network and add additional networks on other wavelengths as demand increases or to service businesses who desire point-to-point connectivity. By incorporating both DWDM and NG-PON2, operators can consolidate residential and business service delivery networks onto the same fiber without fear of degrading service level agreement (SLA) performance and reduce construction costs. The result is an agile, high-capacity, all-Ethernet service delivery network that will serve operators well for decades to come.

Modular, Upgradeable Access Platforms Eliminate Forklift Upgrades

At a time when capacity requirements on the access and transport networks are increasing faster than upgrades can be performed, many operators want to choose service delivery platforms that can be upgraded without a forklift upgrade as their network evolves. Platforms that are wholly based on a standard Ethernet switch fabric instead of proprietary protocols are aligned better with the technologies used in the rest of the network and are easier to upgrade going forward. Modular access platforms that implement technologies such as NG-PON2, GPON, xDSL, and packet optical transport on a card allow operators to upgrade their networks by purchasing a new card as opposed to a new chassis.

In summary, MSOs, telcos, and other service providers are faced with the challenge of upgrading their networks to satisfy a growing bandwidth demand with an increasing amount of video traffic. For operators to satisfy the capacity requirements of the future, they will need to automate their service delivery processes, leverage their investment in their physical fiber plant with increased capacity, and invest in a service delivery platform that’s based on modular, Ethernet technology that offers the possibility of upgrading to newer access and transport standards without a forklift upgrade. With APIs to automate service delivery, DWDM in the transport network, and NG-PON2 in the access network, service provider networks will be more than capable of providing an excellent experience and additional video content to subscribers for years to come.

Chris Tucker brings over 15 years of telecommunications experience to ADTRAN and currently supports several cable MSO and CLEC customers with ADTRAN’s leading business services products. Prior to joining ADTRAN, Chris served as a solutions engineer for a major DOCSIS cable modem manufacturer where he supported product qualification efforts at many of the top ten US cable MSOs. Chris has also served in several sales engineering and technical business development assignments supporting the introduction of cutting-edge service delivery solutions into the cable, telco, and satellite service provider verticals. Chris holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology from Purdue University. 

Permanent link to this article: http://carrier.adtran.com/three-ways-sp-networks-will-change/


Prepare Your Network for More Than a Gig

Make no mistake, if you offer a 1 Gigabit-per-second symmetric broadband service you had better be able to deliver the goods. Even with the average usage per broadband* user today sitting at only around 2Mbps levels, a Gigabit Broadband ‘Killer app” still exists – the broadband speed test! Most new Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) networks can handle this widely used application, having the available access capacity to support the burst to Gigabit while supporting average user bandwidth.

While progressive service providers across the U.S. have begun deploying Gigabit broadband service, many of these advanced FTTH networks do not have the dedicated Gigabit links to each home. In fact, many industry analysts were surprised to hear that most larger Gigabit Broadband players are using the fiber sharing GPON technology and not point to point (P2P) Ethernet FTTH technology. The surprise is warranted as P2P, sometimes referred to as Active Ethernet, supports a dedicated fiber and full Gigabit to each user (or at least in the last mile) while GPON supports 2.5Gbps per ‘PON’ port shared by 16 or 32 users to download content (and only half that capacity for uploading files). 64 customer ‘splits’, as they call it, is used as well, but generally only if you are selling lower speed broadband.

The PON connection is currently more than enough to support the typical U.S. home which consumes over 100 times less than a single connection allows. This may even support the steep broadband usage growth curve currently being driven by over-the-top (OTT) services, like Netflix and Hulu. If broadband utilization growth does continue at the yearly rate we have seen for the last 10 years (~40%) it will take 10 years (~47Mbps average peak load) until a 2.5Gbps GPON port can no longer support a Gigabit speed test. The FTTH network could tap out in less than 5 years if an older, less developed GPON platform/network was deployed.

So why is this important? When the next wave of broadband applications—including medical devices, 3D printing, cloud-based gaming, virtual reality, etc.— reach critical mass, the network capacity will surely be tapped out. If service providers don’t prepare their network via upgrades, the life of their fiber assets may be limited.

This lack of development is akin to a highway having extra traffic lanes only part way between major interchanges. This accelerated obsolescence results from the inability to funnel any more than half of the 2.5Gbps per PON traffic into the cloud. Many Gigabit service providers reduce the customer split from 32 to 16 to accommodate higher service rates, but that generally buys you only another couple of years at 40% growth rate before around 100Mbps per user redlines the FTTH GPON platform. Next generation 10G PON technologies will be rolled out in the coming years that will extend the PON exhaustion date twice as far as today’s most robust GPON platforms. That is what 10G versus 2.5G per PON will get you – 1.5-2x the life expectancy. 5 to 10 more years of growth–up until 500Mbps per user on average is consumed during peak times – will exhaust a NGPON2 10G PON port somewhere near 2030. Indeed this likely won’t happen everywhere but is will happen in many places.

Now please realize that we have only been discussing the FTTH service delivery platform sitting in the access or last mile network being impacted. A 1000 or more of these Gigabit services will be supported on a single Next Generation FTTH service delivery platform, pushing each platform to require high performance cloud-facing interfaces supporting near Terabit speeds (Tbps or 1 million Mbps) to effectively transport all the cloud-based applications from a 1000 aggregated Gigabit Broadband users.  Just like the FTTH access network, the middle-mile or metro optical networks will need to be highly scalable to support this massive onramp of broadband traffic. Imagine if we only widened a city’s side streets, but never expanded highway interchanges, overpasses, turnpikes and lane count.

Today’s FTTH platforms generally support only a 10Gbps Ethernet connection between the access network and metro network connecting to the cloud. This is just 1% of the Tbps requirement modeled. Most of today’s second mile or metro networks will need a ‘packet optical’ upgrade as Gigabit Broadband continues to ramp. Packet optical allows exponentially more traffic to be added onto a fiber link by using multiple wavelengths of light – as in dozens and dozens – as opposed to just a few and blinks those lights on and off at 10 or even a 100 times faster than the fiber connected to a home or business, as in FTTH.

Note: I am calling a ‘broadband’ user someone with at least the average broadband speed in the U.S. which is about a 10Mbps connection. These people typically use more traffic during peak time gaming, watching YouTube, running their Roku and Apple TV and (perhaps) illegally streaming sports than the average user with a smaller connection to the Internet.


Joyce Wady is the Vice President Client Services of Connect2 Communications, Inc.

Permanent link to this article: http://carrier.adtran.com/prepare-your-network-for-more-than-a-gig/

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