To be a profitable service provider in 2022, the majority of engineers and experts on the topic agree that fiber is the key. Plus, fiber is the most economical solution. Within a greenfield network—where there is no existing infrastructure, the most economical decision is at the premise (i.e. office, home, apartment, condo, or 5G cell tower). However, what makes the decision economical in an existing cable operation may not be rebuilding fiber to the premise. Instead, the better investment could be in the existing infrastructure or performing technology updates. These updates could be the difference between extending the network's profitability into the next decade, or only extending its life a few years.
Automation can be a tough noun to wrestle with. Negative connotations quickly come to mind, such as being expendable, or employees being replaced by software. Yet, it is important to understand how adopting network automation can accelerate your company’s efficiency and growth without creating collateral damage to your culture. Software-Defined Networking (SDN) or Network Automation may sound new—but it really isn't. Many forms of automation tools and techniques have been around for 10 years or more, and Linux server admins were using automation tools years before that. Network automation is truly the only way to effectively scale an organization, yet there is still a lot of hesitancy to adopt even a basic, white belt type of automation solution. This isn’t about reducing headcount, but rather, it’s about doing more with what you have.
Building a network always comes down to a single factor: ROI. Service providers and operators who are building a new network will be seeking the best rate. By receiving a good rate, they heighten their return on investment. There’s a difference between building or enhancing a network to deliver what the service provider wants now versus building a scalable network with long-term motivations. A new network should not need upgrades two years later, where a provider forks over more money and adds on to their initial investment.
Fiber to the Home (FTTH) is not an either/or, it is an evolutionary path. To be shortsighted in this venture can end up being more expensive than taking a step back, thinking of the long-term implications of your network, and capturing the lay of the land within a complete analysis. Running full steam into a fiber build will not always put your company ahead of the competition. This is a story of the Tortoise and the Hare, not the Flash—who discovers superspeed overnight. The Predictive Planning Report (PPR) will assess the investments required to go all-in on new technology, like FTTH, while focusing on the improvement of a hybrid fiber-coaxial (HFC) network to evolve into an FTTH iteration. Before seeing a predictive planning report, 70% of providers are confident a fiber to the home upgrade is the only way to accomplish their goals. Afterward, nearly half of those companies understand how extending the life of their HFC plant to evolve into FTTH might be the better option.
In July 2021, the Peoples Republic of China announced the first phase of an IPv6 transition which will be completed by 2023. This means all-new network hardware in China must be IPv6 enabled.
Vice President of Solution Architectures at CCI Systems, Todd Gingrass, discusses how providers and operators address upstream bandwidth. Upstream bandwidth has continued to be a big focus for more than a year now. Those networks who require more bandwidth continue to be a very relevant topic today. The good news is service providers and operators survived 2020 and 2021, but they may have not been ready to support the rapid increase in bandwidth on their networks. Demand was different for every operator, depending on what their architecture looked like and how their customer base behaved. Video calls, streaming, gaming, and the like are constantly happening and eating up bandwidth, and the trend toward remote-everything shows no sign of slowing down. After the smoke started to clear, 3 big misconceptions came to light.