All Optical Network, an Inevitable Trend of 5G Network - Mobile World Live

All Optical Network, an Inevitable Trend of 5G Network

22 DEC 2021

PARTNER CONTENT: Recently, ZTE has hosted its 5G Summit and User Congress 2021, Mr Hu Junjie, General Manager of Wired Product Marketing, ZTE Corporation , has given one speech, he expressed:”All-optical network can solve the conflict between service growth and long-term development of underlay resources. An all-optical network with stable PON+ON architecture can efficiently support multiple service networks and support the service development in 10 years.”

Mr Hu Junjie interviewed with MWL talking in detail ZTE strategy in F5G/5G era,ZTE believed  that providing fiber connectivity for homes and industries will become a blue ocean for operators in the broadband business.

Q1: FTTx now accounts for 60% of fixed broadband users globally. What are the main challenges facing operators in the next stage of their FTTx deployment?

A: According to an Omdia report, the number of FTTx users worldwide increased tenfold over the past decade, pushing the total user base of FTTx to more than 730 million by the end of 2020. GPON is currently the main technology used in FTTx deployment. As high-bandwidth services rapidly develop and go mainstream, GPON can no longer meet the exponential growth in bandwidth demand and must be upgraded to 10G PON. Therefore, the first major challenge for operators is to quickly upgrade GPON to 10G PON at low cost. To do that, more and more operators are choosing ZTE’s Combo PON solution. The solution enables access for both GPON and 10G PON ONUs under the same port. With the solution, operators can deploy services on demand and upgrade ONUs flexibly. During the network upgrade, no changes to the ODN are required, no additional space is needed, and no optical insertion loss is incurred. Compared with the traditional scheme of upgrading with an external multiplexer, ZTE Combo PON solution reduces equipment room space by 72% and lowers TCO by 26%.

Although FTTx has a huge installed base, its distribution between urban and rural areas is still extremely unbalanced. Most of the fiber resources are concentrated in densely populated urban areas. Operators’ broadband rollout is driven by a number of complex factors, such as expanding the rural broadband market, fulfilling the social responsibility of narrowing the digital divide, and supporting national broadband development strategies. Deploying broadband in rural areas economically and efficiently has proven to be a common challenge for all operators. Rural broadband deployment faces problems including great environmental complexity and high installation and transportation costs. ZTE’s Light PON solution features a series of small-capacity OLTs, outdoor cabinets, and a pre-connectorized ODN solution to enable flexible, economical and efficient FTTx network construction. The 2U and 1U small-capacity OLTs are easy to deploy and transport and can be installed by one person. The outdoor cabinets can be quickly deployed in harsh environments and help operators reduce OPEX. The pre-connectorized ODN solution supports blind mating of connectors, which improves installation efficiency by 80%. It also supports connector self-locking, reducing the time needed to connect to a port from ten seconds to three and thus saving 50% construction time and over 20% investment.

Q2: How can operators make full use of their abundant fiber resources and convert fiber’s technical advantages into commercial value?

A: We believe that providing fiber connectivity for homes and industries will become a blue ocean for operators in the broadband business. Fiber connectivity for homes seeks to improve the service experience of home users by addressing the conflict between users’ growing service requirements and home networks’ poor quality. Most home networking solutions deployed for users are no longer up to the task. Such solutions employ 100M Ethernet cables and single-band routers, leading to inadequate coverage, slow rates and low stability of Wi-Fi. As a result, home users cannot enjoy a superior experience of services like cloud gaming and Ultra High Definition (UHD) video over the networks. ZTE’s Fiber To The Room (FTTR) solution is the ultimate solution for home Wi-Fi. The solution pushes fiber to every room in the home and uses ZTE’s all-optical gateway and all-optical routers to provide all the rooms with a gigabit-plus, low-latency and high-reliability Wi-Fi 6 network. Once deployed, the solution enables home networks to evolve towards 10Gbps and even 100Gbps broadband in the next 20 years. ZTE FTTR solution has been installed in pilot and commercial deployments in over 20 cities in China. Fiber connectivity for industries aims to build superfast optical broadband infrastructure for communities, industry sectors and campuses by making full use of the advantages of PON technology in engineering and cost-effectiveness. In the community scenario, the existing Passive Optical Network (PON) resources of the PON network are used to deliver fiber access for other services, such as video surveillance and broadband access for storefronts, in the community. This approach drives the digital transformation of residential communities into smart communities, while reducing overall construction cost by 75% and increased OLT port utilization by 9%. In the industry sector scenario, fiber is routed to workshops, equipment rooms, and desktops to implement all-optical access and enable a new service model that integrates a dedicated line, a private network, 5G and the cloud. High network reliability is guaranteed through hand-in-hand protection and industrial-grade ONUs. The PON network applies to multiple industry sectors including electric power, manufacturing, and education, where it can save equipment room space by 80%, energy consumption by 60%, cabling by 50%, and CAPEX by 50%. In the campus scenario, PON technology is applied in enterprise campus networks, where active convergence switches can be replaced with passive optical components that are small-size, lightweight and power-free to reduce the number of weak-current equipment rooms. This allows one fiber to deliver full-service access and implement full-scenario coverage, while also helping enterprises build a new type of all-optical network that features convergence, ultra simplicity, and high security.

ZTE’s PON network solutions have been deployed in more than 500 enterprise campuses.

Q3: How do you think about the development trend of the optical network in F5G/5G era?

A: In the F5G/5G era, new services such as telecommuting, remote education, telemedicine and live streaming e-commerce have become popular. The optical network is not only a communication pipe, but also an information connection platform of the new infrastructure for 5G, industrial Internet, artificial intelligence, and big data center. Focusing on the industrial digital transformation, the optical network is facing both opportunities and challenges. We believe that ultra-high bandwidth, precision transport, and intelligent O&M are the major evolution and innovation tendencies of the optical network. We are exploring the evolution of a single wavelength from 600G/800G to 1.2T and the expansion of single-fiber from C++ band to L band, and working on multi-core few-mode transmission to ensure the high-speed and high-quality connections of ToB/ToC/ToH and ToN services. Precision transport allows on-demand adjustment of 2Mbps~100Gbps services, and provides customized services with “multiple slices in one network” to meet varied requirements of different industries, so that the customers can select the services based on different scenarioswith soft/rigid pipes, ultra-low latency or ultra-high reliability requirements. Intelligent O&M solves the huge O&M challenge brought by massive services in the 5G era, and enables networks to offer higher transport and maintenance efficiency. Based on SDN, big data, and artificial intelligence, it’s able to provide digitalized and intelligent optical networks fromnetwork planning, construction, maintenance to optimization.

Q4: What does ZTE suggest to cope with the trend?

A: ZTE proposes the intelligent optical network solution to facilitate the upgrade and evolution of optical networks of operators and industrial partners. It uses the “new algorithm” to build ultra-high-speed high-performance transmission pipes, employ the “new platform” with optical and electrical synergy to flexibly and efficiently transport services with diversified SLA requirements, and adopt the “new intelligence” to build convenient and efficient O&M systems, to fully meet the high-quality connection requirements of various industries in the 5G era. In the scenario where the MAN moving downwards to the network edge, ZTE has launched a new-generation compact optical omni-gateway. With ultra-high integration and a maximum height of 6U, the product supports a maximum of 15 service slots. It can effectively save equipment footprint and power consumption, thereby substantially reducing the operators’ CAPEX and OPEX. Besides, the product supports 80×10G/100G/200G systems to fully meet the requirements of new services for optical network bandwidths. Moreover, with a single-subrack cross-connect capacity of up to 2.8T, it supports unified ODUk/PKT/VC/OSU cross-connection and service on-demand, and can implement flexible service scheduling as well as optimal customer benefits. Based on the key OSU technology, the product can implement rigid transport and fast transmission of fine-granularity enterprise services such as financial services, thus effectively meeting customers’ bandwidth requirements. To build integrated all-optical backbone and metro networks, ZTE recommends deploying end-to-end OTN+OXC to simplify site configuration, achieve one-hop cloud access via a simpler architecture, and provide deterministic millisecond-level latency. By increasing the single-wavelength rate and optical channels, this solution reduces the single-bit TCO with a larger single-fiber capacity. As the single-wavelength 1.2T occupies 150GHZ, the C+L band can provide a single-fiber capacity of 96T. By using a better algorithm, for example, ZTE’s patented Flex Shaping 2.0, the solution can support 100G~1.2T continuous adjustment, which doubles the transmission distance with the rate of 1.2T compared with using the traditional algorithms.

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