CROSS at FTTH Amsterdam – what are key challenges for new fiber rollout?

It was exciting to visit the recent FTTH conference in Amsterdam, which saw lively debate and some excellent contributions from industry leaders, reflecting strong industry growth. Of course, delivering FTTH remains a key strategic objective for operators and regulators, but 5G is attracting huge attention and the scope of the industry has broadened.

In fact, many fiber providers are ensuring that their rollout plans are aligned with those of Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), because a strong fiber footprint is essential to support 5G capabilities, due to the massive densification of cells needed to deliver coverage with the right performance. However, there’s an issue here, in that existing FTTx planning tools cannot easily combine fixed and mobile technology coverage. For 5G to take off, alignment is essential.

That’s a problem we’ve solved at CROSS NI, because we can combine each of these technologies into a single tool which tracks assets and inventory. So, we can help both fiber providers and MNOs to accelerate deployment and to track resources effectively.

This matters for existing FTTx planning too – the documentation and tracking of fiber networks should not be isolated from other access and backbone technologies. They must be seen as integral to the overall network architecture and assets. Again, CROSS allows the combination of all planned and operational technologies across the access and the core, within a single application.

Another interesting aspect of fiber deployment is that the stakeholder ecosystem has grown considerably. For example, many utility providers are building their own fiber access networks, so that they can manage smart network devices. These networks will likely combine both dedicated and leased resources, which means a coherence overview is essential. CROSS can provide a platform for unifying telco and IT networks with those of utility providers, ensuring a consistent view of all assets and the different services they support.

The FTTH conference showed an industry with a growing sense of momentum. 5G and the rollout of specialized networks for utilities and nationwide services (emergency infrastructure is another example) are driving investments. But, it’s important to focus on the services that will result. Connectivity is the first step – but GPON, 5G eMBB and massive IoT will follow, creating a complex array of services and the corresponding logical, virtual and physical resources.

To ensure success, full automation is necessary, as is the integrated planning of passive and logical elements – and, with large sums of money at stake, detailed project planning will be critical. We’re excited about the fiber boom – if you are building out new networks, why not book a demo with our team, so we can show you how we can help?

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