STL Launches Accellus End-To-End Fiber Broadband And 5G Wireless Solution; India’s PLI scheme explained

India based telecom equipment company STL (Sterlite Technologies Limited) has launched Accellus, its flagship solution for 5G-ready, open and programmable networks. This new product line raises the position of STL as a provider of disruptive solutions for Access and Edge networks. For the past 5 years, STL has been investing in research and development to expand its capabilities in converged networks based on fiber optic broadband and Open RAN.


India’s PLI Scheme

The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), which represents service providers and network equipment vendors, said that the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme will boost local manufacturing, exports and also create employment opportunities.  STL plans to take advantage of that initiative. Nokia (through its India subsidiary) said the guidelines were an encouraging initiative by the government towards making India a global manufacturing hub. “Nokia is committed to this vision with our Chennai factory that manufactures telecom equipment from 2G to 5G-making for India and the world.”

“India is already the second largest telecom market globally and this will go a long way in making the country a global hub for telecom innovation,” said SP Kochhar, director general, COAI.


STL’s Accellus is built on this industry-leading converged optical-radio architecture. The company expects the global adoption of this decision to accelerate at a rate of 250% on an annual basis, stimulating better TCO for customers and gross margin for shareholders. Accellus will allow four main benefits for network builders – scalable and flexible operations, faster time to market, lower TCO and greener networks.

Accellus will lead the industry’s transition from tightly integrated, proprietary products to neutral and programmable converged wireless and optical networking solutions. It offers wireless and fiber-based solutions:

1. 5G multiband radios: Exhaustive portfolio of RAN radios with single and multiband macro radios. Co-developed in partnership with Facebook Connectivity to build total availability for Open RAN-based radios

2. Internal small cells: O-RAN compliant, highly efficient internal 5G small cell solution, with level 1 edge treatment

3. Wi-Fi 6 access solutions: Outdoor Wi-Fi 6 solutions providing carrier-class public connectivity in dense environments

4. Intelligent RAN Controller (RIC): An Open RAN 5G operating system that allows the Open RAN ecosystem to use third-party applications to improve performance and save costs

5. Programmable FTTx (pFTTx): A complete solution that offers programmability and software-defined networks in large-scale FTTH, business and cellular sites (FTTx) networks

Commenting on the launch of Accellus, Philip Leidler, Partner and Consulting Director, STL Partners, said: “One of the goals of the O-RAN alliance was to expand the RAN ecosystem and encourage innovation from a wider base of technology companies worldwide. the message is the last indication that this goal has been achieved. “

Commenting on the launch of Accellus, Chris Rice, CEO of Access Solutions at STL, said: “Disaggregated 5G and FTTx networks based on open standards are becoming more common for both greenfield and brownfield deployments. These networks will require unprecedented scalability and flexibility, possible through an open and programmable architecture. STL’s Accellus will unlock business opportunities for our customers and provide a immersive digital experience worldwide.”

Optical fiber has evolved in its maturity and in its form factors to drive the infrastructure medium for the “wireline” side of the network. It continues to be the preferred medium for high-speed network delivery, Rice said.

“What network infrastructure is needed for 5G to become a reality and deliver expected Performance?” 

Answer:  “Upgrade the network backhaul and core IP infrastructure for the expected growth in bandwidth that 5G Applications will enable. The necessity of wireline 5G upgrades sometimes does not get the attention it deserves; this includes IP equipment (e.g. cell site routers) and the necessary fiber upgrades to the cell sites.

Perform the network planning for the new cell site builds required to get the coverage and capacity required for ubiquitous 5G at the speeds users expect. For 5G to pay off for Telcos, there have to be new capabilities and services to sell that deserve higher price points from consumers and business users.

Ensure that operational automation is available to keep operating costs reasonable, especially as the number of cell sites grows. CAPEX is typically only 20 to 25% of the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for a RAN, meaning that operating costs are 3X to 4X what CAPEX is. The RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) is an example in ORAN / Open RAN that helps Telcos fulfil this need in an open way. It is essentially the operating system for Open RAN. It provides a platform for third-party applications to deliver these operational benefits and automation.”

How Is STL Helping Industry Stakeholders to Explain to Government Officials the Importance of Fiber for 5G or High-Speed Broadband?

Answer: “Network speed in the RAN air interface is essentially meaningless without the ability to ensure that the connected IP network can backhaul the required bandwidth. This fact necessitates additional fiber deployments to the existing cell sites (where it does not exist) and to new cells sites.”

In conclusion, Rice opined, “Our (STLs) newest business unit, the Access Solutions BU, focuses on fiber broadband and 5G wireless products. These products are based on open networking principles and give STL the opportunity to participate in the disruption that is occurring in the open networking markets, like ORAN and Open RAN initiatives. While Access Solutions BU is new, it has an R&D and innovation heritage of almost four years. During that time, a top talent team has been put in place, fundamental technology and innovation have been developed and matured, and now a well-defined product roadmap has been put in place as the BU launches many new products in its Accellus product line.”


2 thoughts on “STL Launches Accellus End-To-End Fiber Broadband And 5G Wireless Solution; India’s PLI scheme explained

  1. STL creates product line to converge wired, wireless networks

    STL has created a product line — Accellus — to converge wired and wireless technologies in telecommunications networks. Accellus is not yet commercialized, but STL’s goal is to create open products in the network access space for 5G and FTTx.

    Chris Rice, CEO of STL’s Access Solutions business, said his general definition for “convergence” in telecom relates to how synergistic the wired and wireless technologies are. “You could look at DSL and 2G and 3G and there was no synergy between any of these,” said Rice.

    Fast forward to today, and operators are designing their networks with both wired and wireless subnetworks. The teams deploying 5G are considering XGS PON when thinking about wireless backhaul.

    In the access space there’s an upgrade occurring from Gigabit Passive Optical Networks (GPON) with speeds of 2.5 Gbps to XGS PON with symmetric 10 gig speeds. “You could serve more people with more bandwidth and also serve small and medium businesses pretty easily,” said Rice. “Also, you can bring this to the cell site.”

    Not only is this of interest in countries where 5G is being rolled out, but it’s also very useful in parts of the world where fiber density is scarce. “This PON technology that allows multiple endpoints on a single fiber really helps in fiber scarce areas,” said Rice.

    STL’s XGS PON technology is also programmable, being based on software-defined networking principles. “A lot of these things used to be hard coded,” said Rice. “Ours is a software-based delivery model.”

    STL is also building 5G radios based on standards from the O-RAN Alliance.

    It’s working with Facebook Connectivity to build two radios, and it’s building other radio varieties as well to meet worldwide demand where different operators have different frequency bands. “If you want to be a full-line supplier you have to have many different bands and both indoor and outdoor,” said Rice. “We’re looking at the ones that will have the most value.”

  2. STL, formerly Sterlite Technologies, is in the process of conducting early trials for setting up private telecom networks and small-scale networking solutions. The company is currently conducting lab trials for various international telecom players, reported ET.

    Lab trials are already underway in Australia, Taiwan and in the UK while the company is concurrently undertaking trials for wireless 5G services in the US, Japan and India, said Managing Director Ankit Agarwal to ET. Agarwal added that field trials will commence once lab trials are completed, and deployment is expected next year.

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