Fiber-based GPON Enables Millions of Chinese Households to Get to Fast, Faster
Operators around the world all want to achieve the fastest network possible with the greatest return on investment. They also wish to do so in the most cost effective manner and in the shortest period of time. According to Infonetics’ latest quarterly market share tracker the annual worldwide growth in the number of consumers connected to fiber-based Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) systems is 60 percent – making it the fastest growing fixed access technology today for service providers seeking to get to the future fast.
In order to be successful, network operators need an understanding of market conditions and need to identify best practices and choose the right fiber technology to connect more subscribers quickly. Some regions of the world, such as China, face few obstacles as well as have important incentives for the installation of FTTx networks across the country which it is why the technology has become the one of choice.
In fact, research firm Ovum (News - Alert) has estimated that China continues to dominate FTTx deployments with subscribership reaching 100 million in 2016 representing more than 50 percent of the world’s subscribers.
As mentioned, despite or because of this explosive anticipated growth, China faces some interesting challenges and significant opportunities which include:
- The absence of extensive legacy networks.
- The declining cost of FTTx network equipment.
- Growing demand for multiple, high speed-high capacity services such as Interactive-TV, on-demand video services, Internet-based gaming, and social networking.
- The huge number of greenfield construction projects.
In a new partnership with China Unicom, one of the country’s largest communications service providers, Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert) is securing a strong position in China by delivering FTTx network connections to millions of users.
China Unicom recently selected Alcatel-Lucent’s GPON solution for their recently announced nationwide Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) network, currently the largest fiber optic network in the world based on this technology. The new FTTH network is part of a massive wave of FTTx deployments currently underway in China with the goal of enabling millions of households to get to fast, faster.
China Unicom (News - Alert) is not the only company in the country focusing on GPON as the preferred solution for massive broadband deployments. China’s two other big operators – China Mobile (News - Alert) and China Telecom – also have selected Alcatel-Lucent’s fiber-based PON solution. With these partnerships, Alcatel-Lucent will cover 14 provinces for China Mobile and 18 provinces for China Telecom (News - Alert), ultimately providing fiber-based broadband in all of China’s 31 provinces.
With bandwidth minimums and subscriber coverage targets set by the Chinese government, service providers are looking for innovative ways to bring very high speed broadband to every home and every business.
The speed of FTTx deployments taking place in China is as impressive as the scale of these projects, according to Alcatel-Lucent. Earlier this year China Telecom announced plans to connect 26 million people in China by the end of 2011. Alcatel-Lucent is rapidly building out a mix of PON technologies connecting homes, office buildings and remote nodes throughout the country.
The Alcatel-Lucent GPON technology solution chosen by China Unicom is the world’s highest-capacity access platform designed for current and next generation fiber access technologies: the 7360 Intelligent Services Access Manager (ISAM) FX, the latest addition to the ISAM family of IP access products.
The ISAM platform supports all FTTH/FTTN/FTTB deployment models and technologies including GPON, EPON, 10G PON and point-to-point fiber. The ISAM family will help simplify and speed up deployments for China’s service providers through a commonality of software, line-cards, and deployment practices for all flavors of FTTx network models.
ISAM is a cornerstone of Alcatel-Lucent’s High Leverage Network architecture. It is the way for service provider to meet the escalating demands for broadband access, i.e., getting to fast, faster.
Erin Harrison is Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives, for TMC, where she oversees the company's strategic editorial initiatives, including the launch of several new print and online initiatives. She plays an active role in the print publications and TMCnet, covering IP communications, information technology and other related topics. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Peter Bernstein