Echo and Bifrost: Facebook’s new subsea cables between Asia-Pacific and North America

Facebook has revealed plans to build two new subsea cables between the Asia-Pacific region and North America, called Echo and Bifrost.  The social media giant also revealed partnerships with Google as well as Asian telecoms operators for the project.

Although these projects are still subject to regulatory approvals, when completed, these cables will deliver much-needed internet capacity, redundancy, and reliability.  The transpacific cables will follow a “new diverse route crossing the Java Sea, connecting Singapore, Indonesia, and North America,” and are expected to increase overall transpacific capacity by 70%.

Facebook says Echo and Bifrost will support further growth for hundreds of millions of people and millions of businesses. Facebook said that economies flourish when there is widely accessible internet for people and businesses.

Echo and Bifrost be the first transpacific cables through a new diverse route crossing the Java Sea. Connecting Singapore, Indonesia, and North America, these cable investments reflect Facebook’s commitment to openness and our innovative partnership model. The social media company works with a variety of leading Indonesian and global partners to ensure that everyone benefits from developing scale infrastructure and shared technology expertise.

Facebook will work with partners such as Indonesian companies Telin and XL Axiata and Singapore-based Keppel on these projects.

Image Credit: Facebook

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Kevin Salvadori, VP of network investments at Facebook, provided further details in an interview with Reuters. He said Echo is being built in partnership with Alphabet’s Google and XL Axiata.  It should be completed by 2023. Bifrost partners include Telin, a subsidiary of Indonesia’s Telkom, and Keppel.  It is due to be completed by 2024.

Aside from the Southeast Asian cables, Facebook was continuing with its broader subsea plans in Asia and globally, including with the Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN), Salvadori said.

“We are working with partners and regulators to meet all of the concerns that people have, and we look forward to that cable being a valuable, productive transpacific cable going forward in the near future,” he said.

Indonesia

Facebook noted that Echo and Bifrost will complement the subsea cables serving Indonesia today. These investments present an opportunity to enhance connectivity in the Central and Eastern Indonesian provinces, providing greater capacity and improved reliability for Indonesia’s international data information infrastructure. Echo and Bifrost complement the subsea cables serving Indonesia today, increasing service quality and supporting the country’s connectivity demands.

This is all part of Facebook’s continued effort to collaborate with partners in Indonesia to expand access to broadband internet and lower the cost of connectivity. Facebook has partnered with Alita, an Indonesian telecom network provider, to deploy 3,000 kilometers (1,8641 miles) of metro fiber in 20 cities in Bali, Java, Kalimantan, and Sulawesi. In addition, we are improving connectivity by expanding Wi-Fi with Express Wi-Fi.

While 73% of Indonesia’s population of 270 million are online, the majority access the web through mobile data, with less than 10 percent using a broadband connection, according to a 2020 survey by the Indonesian Internet Providers Association.  Swathes of the country, remain without any internet access.

Singapore

In Singapore, Echo and Bifrost are expected to provide extra subsea capacity to complement the APG and SJC-2 subsea cables. Building on Facebook’s previously announced Singapore data center investments, Echo and Bifrost will provide important diverse subsea capacity to power Singapore’s digital growth and connectivity hub. Singapore is also home to many of Facebook’s regional teams.

The Asia-Pacific region is very important to Facebook.  In order to bring more people online to a faster internet, these new projects add to Facebook’s foundational regional investments in infrastructure and partnerships to improve connectivity to help close the digital divide and strengthen economies.

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References:

Advancing connectivity between the Asia-Pacific region and North America

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-facebook-internet-southeastasia-idUSKBN2BL0CH

 

North American Cloud and Traditional Telco CapEx Drops in 4th Quarter 2020

Subhead: Exceptional 4Q Cloud & Colo Operator Spending in APAC

After spending aggressively during the first half of 2020, Traditional Telco operators (Incumbent and Wholesale) in North America curbed spending on optical and packet hardware during the fourth quarter. 4Q20 spending by these operators dropped almost 40%, according to the 4Q20 Transport Customer Markets Report from market research firm Cignal AI.
“North American network operators spent much less than usual in 4Q20 as they installed and used capacity acquired earlier in the year amidst COVID uncertainties,” said Scott Wilkinson, Lead Analyst for Transport Hardware. “This will change in 2021 as first Cloud and then Traditional operators resume normal spending patterns.”

More Key Findings from the 4Q20 Transport Customer Markets Report:

  • Fourth Quarter spending on optical hardware by Cloud & Colo expanded dramatically in APAC but declined in EMEA and North America.
  • Ciena lost some sales of optical transport equipment to Cloud operators but maintained market leadership in 2020. Huawei (due to growth in APAC), Nokia, and Infinera all gained share.
  • Huawei maintained market share leadership for the year in both optical and packet transport equipment sales to Traditional Telcos. The company has not yet seen market share declines from growing political pressure in EMEA.
  • Enterprise & Government spending on optical hardware was resilient for the year; defying expectations that it would decline due to COVID pressures.
  • Transport markets should return to growth in the second half of 2021 as COVID restrictions are lifted, operational difficulties are resolved, and businesses resume normal operations. Strength will be led by Cloud & Colo operators, followed by Traditional Telco operators.

Separately, Cignal AI said on March 16th that Ciena’s revenue decline this quarter was steeper than  forecast, but the company is poised to grow revenues based on the success of its WaveLogic 5e fifth generation coherent technology.

On March 2nd, Cignal AI said that Infinera originally expected its ICE6 technology to enter the market in the second half of 2020. The company’s current guidance now indicates a 2H21 arrival. Infinera reports a strong order pipeline, but has not specified exactly when the first ICE6 will ship for revenue.

About the Transport Customer Markets Report:

The Cignal AI Transport Customer Markets Report tracks global optical and packet transport equipment spending by end-customer market type, including incumbent, wholesale, cloud and colocation, cable MSO and broadband, enterprise and government network operators.
The report includes historical market share and market size and five-year market size forecasts. Vendors examined: Adtran, ADVA, Alaxala, Ciena, Cisco, Ekinops, Ericsson, Fiberhome, Fujitsu, Fujitsu NC, Huawei, Infinera, Juniper Networks, Mitsubishi Electric, NEC, Nokia, Padtec, RAD, Tejas Networks, Ribbon Communications, Telco Systems, Xtera and ZTE.

About Cignal AI:

Cignal AI provides active and insightful market research for the networking component and equipment market and its end customers. Our work blends expertise from various disciplines to create a uniquely informed perspective on the evolution of networking communications.

References:

https://cignal.ai/opteq-hw-dashboard/

https://cignal.ai/free-articles/

Email: sales@cignal.ai

AT&T Provides Update on Fiber Rollouts, 5G Expansion, and Financial Outlook

Here are the highlights of AT&T Investor Day Announcements:

3 million new fiber locations:

AT&T plans to deploy fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) to another 3 million-plus residential and business locations across more than 90 metro areas in 2021, and is already sizing up plans to push that to an additional 4 million locations in 2022, Jeff McElfresh, CEO of AT&T Communications, said today during the company’s investor day event.

“The margin economics are attractive.  These areas are adjacent to our current footprint, driving cost efficiencies in our build as well as our marketing and distribution efforts.”

McElfresh expects its fiber subscriber volumes increase in the second half of the year after the initial buildouts, but noted that he likes what AT&T is seeing in the early part of 2021. The company noted that about 70% of its gross broadband adds in fiber buildout areas are new AT&T customers.

“And if we keep up with that pace, our vision would be to have over half of our portfolio, or 50% of our network, covered by that fiber asset.  As our integrated fiber plan improves the yield performance on that fiber it will further give us conviction on continuing that investment in the coming years.”

AT&T is also looking to broaden its reach of fiber amid rising data demand and network usage that has occurred during the pandemic, and isn’t expected to stop any time soon.  That’s shown in the graph’s below:

Click here for a larger version of this image. (Source: AT&T)

 

References:

https://www.lightreading.com/opticalip/fttx/atandt-to-plant-fiber-in-3m-locations-this-year-sizes-up-4m-more-in-2022/d/d-id/768057?

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AT&T’s 5G Strategy:

AT&T’s 5G network now covers 230M Americans in 14,000 cities and towns and AT&T 5G+ is now available in parts of 38 cities in the U.S. 

Note: AT&T may temporarily slow data speeds if the network is busy.

“Connectivity is at the heart of everything we do – 140 years and counting. From our fiber network backbone to the layers of wireless spectrum technology, we provide 5G network coverage that delivers the speeds, security and lower latency connections that customers and businesses need,” said Jeff McElfresh, CEO – AT&T Communications. “Over the past five years, AT&T has invested more capital in the U.S. than any other public company.”

Here is what the company said about its 5G Strategy:

AT&T has planned a balanced approach to 5G. Our strategy of deploying 5G in both sub-6 (5G) and mmWave (5G+) spectrum bands provides a great mix of speeds, latency and coverage for consumers and businesses. We rolled out nationwide 5G that now covers 230 million people, and offer 5G+ providing ultra-fast speeds to high-density areas where faster speeds can have huge impacts for our customers. So far, AT&T has deployed 5G+ nodes in parts of 38 cities across the U.S.

AT&T 5G is opening up some impressive opportunities for businesses and consumers and mid-band and mobile edge computing will help us go even further. There is an emerging multi-sided business model across 5G, edge computing and a variety of use cases from healthcare to gaming.

Our mobile edge computing plus 5G network will help satisfy the need for ultra-responsive networks and open up new possibilities for consumers and businesses. With our investments, we will take advantage of new technologies like spatial computing to enable applications across industries from manufacturing automation to watching immersive sports.

Reference: https://about.att.com/story/2021/5g_strategy.html

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C-band spectrum deployment to begin in 2021:

  • AT&T acquired 80 MHz of C-band spectrum in the FCC’s Spectrum Auction 107. The company plans to begin deploying the first 40 MHz of this spectrum by the end of 2021.
  • AT&T expects to spend $6-8 billion in capex deploying C-band spectrum, with the vast majority of the spend occurring from 2022 to 2024. Expected C-band deployment costs are already included in the company’s 2021 capex guidance and in its leverage ratio target for 2024.
  • AT&T expects to deliver 5G services over its new C-band spectrum licenses to 70 to 75 million people in 2022 and 100 million people in “early” 2023.
    • Funding C-band spectrum: AT&T’s investment in C-band spectrum via Auction 107 totals $27.4 billion, including expected payments of $23 billion in 2021.
    • To meet this commitment and other near-term priorities, in 2021 the company expects to have access to cash totaling at least $30 billion, including cash on hand at the end of 2020 of $9.7 billion, commercial paper issued in January 2021 of $6.1 billion and financing via a term loan credit agreement of $14.7 billion.

Jeff McElfresh, CEO of AT&T Communications, explained the operator’s focus on both 5G and fiber: “Our value proposition is to serve customers how they want to be served with enough bandwidth and capacity and speed, and we’ll let the technology service architecture meet that demand or that need.”

“When you get up into the midband segment of spectrum, while it offers us really wide bandwidth for speed and capacity, its coverage characteristics don’t penetrate [buildings and other locations] as effectively as the lowband does,” he said. “And so as we design our network and our offers in the market, you will see us densify our wireless network on the top of our investments in fiber.”

–>Yet McElfresh didn’t really address how AT&T Communications would overcome those challenges.

References:

https://about.att.com/story/2021/att_analyst_day.html

https://www.lightreading.com/opticalip/atandt-serves-up-5g-plans-with-healthy-dose-of-pragmatism/d/d-id/768059?

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Financial Targets and Guidance:

  • End-of-year 2021 debt ratio target of 3.0x. The company expects to end 2021 with a net debt-to-adjusted EBITDA ratio of about 3.0x,3 reflecting an anticipated increase in net debt of about $6 billion to fund the C-band spectrum purchase.
    • 2024 debt ratio of 2.5x or lower. During 2024, AT&T expects to reach a net debt-to-adjusted EBITDA ratio of 2.5x or lower.3 To achieve this target, the company expects to use all cash flows after total dividends to pay down debt and will continue to look for opportunities to monetize non-strategic assets. The company also does not plan to repurchase shares during this period.

Click here for a larger version of this image. (Source: AT&T)

  • 2021 guidance unchanged. AT&T’s 2021 financial guidance, announced in January 2021, is unchanged on a comparative basis. For the full year, the company continues to expect:
    • Consolidated revenue growth in the 1% range
    • Adjusted EPS to be stable with 20204,5
    • Gross capital investment6 in the $21 billion range, with capital expenditures in the $18 billion range
    • 2021 free cash flow7 in the $26 billion range, with a full-year total dividend payout ratio in the high 50’s% range

References:

https://about.att.com/story/2021/att_analyst_day.html

 

 

PON’s Vulnerability to Denial of Service (DoS) Attacks

by Shrihari Pandit

Introduction:

The dominant architecture used in fiber optic deployment -Passive Optical Networks (PONs) may be vulnerable to attack. It is important to bring attention to this under-appreciated weakness and discuss what steps are possible to protect fiber infrastructure.

As various PON technologies are long standing and widely deployed, this is a matter of no small concern. PONs are widely deployed by Verizon FiOS, AT&T U-verse and many others.

The PON architecture is a hodgepodge of old and new technologies, hardware and strategy, limited budget and often is not overseen by a single team.

In this article we describe how fiber optic infrastructure based on PONs may be open to potential denial of service (DoS) attacks via optical signal injections. Security experts warn that this is a growing issue, which could take down entire sectors of PON segments.

Considering the ever increasing state-sponsored and non-state-actor cyber attacks, these types of vulnerabilities that allow for massive disruption for large groups of people are very attractive targets.

PON Overview:

The cost advantages of PON architecture make it the overwhelming choice for FTTH deployments. PON allows wireline network providers to deliver service to businesses and homes without having to install costly active electronics on roads, curb-side or even within buildings themselves.

Active electronics, on the other hand, add cost and create operational complexity as deployments scale. The conveniences and differentiators of PONs are precisely what opens up the floodgates to serious vulnerabilities.

PONs are fundamentally susceptible due to the architecture from the passive optical splitter (POS) to the optical network unit (ONU) within the overall network infrastructure. The POS component of the network functions like a bridge, allowing any and all communications to transverse without the ability to filter, limit or restrict flow.

The fiber optic market currently boasts 585.9 million subscribers worldwide, with that number set to grow to 897.8 million subscribers by 2021.

The industry has moved to upgrade 1st generation GPONs and EPONs to next-generation PONs, like NG-PON2 (the favorite), XG-PON1 and XGS-PON.  For example, Verizon uses the Calix AXOS E9-2 Intelligent Edge System for large-scale NG-PON2 deployments that began in the first quarter of 2018.

However, with subscriber density significantly increasing per PON segment, the risks increase as more subscribers are affected by a cyber attack on a single fiber.

Sidebar:  NG-PON2

NG-PON2 combines multiple signals onto a single optical fiber by using the different wavelengths of laser light (wave division multiplexing), and then splits transmission into time slots (time division multiplexing), in order to further increase capacity. NG-PON2 is illustrated in the figure below.

Legend: 

 OLT =Optical Line Termination                                                         ONT =Optical Network Termination

NGPON2 has three key advantages for operators:

1. Cost

Firstly, it can co-exist with existing GPON and NGPON1 systems and is able to use existing PON-capable outside plant. Since the cost of PON FTTH roll out is 70 per cent accounted for by the optical distribution network (ODN), this is significant. Operators have a clear upgrade path from where they are now, until well into the future.

2. Speed

Initially NGPON2 will provide a minimum of 40 Gb/s downstream capacity, produced by four 10 Gb/s signals on different wavelengths in the O-band multiplexed together in the central office with a 10 Gb/s total upstream capacity. This capability can be doubled to provide 80 Gb/s downstream and 20 Gb/s upstream in the “extended” NGPON2.

3. Symmetrical upstream/downstream capacity

Both the basic and extended implementations are designed to appeal to domestic consumers where gigabit downstream speeds may be needed but more modest upstream needs prevail. For business users with data mirroring and similar requirements, a symmetric implementation will be provided giving 40/40 and 80/80 Gb/s capacity respectively.

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The Essence of a PON Cyber Attack:

Given the flashpoints around the globe, it doesn’t take much imagination to envision how state and non-state actors might want to cause such a chaotic and widespread disruption.

If a “cyber criminal” gains access to the underlying fiber, they could inject a wideband optical signal to disrupt communications for all subscribers attached to the PON segment.

Alternatively, at your home the adversary could manipulate the ONU’s optical subsystem to transmit abnormal PON signals and impact service to all subs on that segment. Communications including internet, voice and even analog TV signals that operate on nearby wavelengths would be susceptible to these serious DoS attacks.

Possible Solutions, Preventive Methods and Procedures:

So, what can be done with current equipment without a massive and costly fiber optic network overhaul? The unfortunate answer is that an overarching vulnerability will always exist as long as the passive components are in place.  A reactionary process is the best and only option.

The current primary solution for operators is to reduce the number of subscribers per PON segment as a way to manage risks. If an attack was detected, the network operator would be able to localize the source and identify and disconnect the bad actor from the network. But it’s easier said than done.

This sort of manual process is not ideal. Extensive PON outages means spending the time and money to send personnel to optical line terminals to check each individual port until the attacker is found. The installation of active electronics on each PON segment or near PON subscribers is unrealistic and impractical. That undertaking would actually be more costly in terms of time, money and location.

The best ongoing solution is that operators should consider installing passive tap points per PON segment. Each can be independently routed back and managed at a provider’s operations center and allow operators to effectively analyze segments and detect unusual optical light levels that may signal an attack.

At that point the operator could physically dispatch techs on-site to continue the localization and resolution process while ensuring other non-threatening users remain unaffected. This solution is to effectively take a reactionary restriction and make it as automatic and proactive as currently possible.

Conclusions:

P2MP (point to multi-point) architecture has become the most popular solution for FTTH and FTTP.  Yet there needs to be a severe increase in awareness to potential PON vulnerability into the next generation.

If we can catalyze the telecom industry to develop methods and measures to protect infrastructure, such crippling network security issues will be stopped before widespread exploits occur.

The industry needs to address these concerns sooner rather than later or else be left without effective countermeasures against these very real threats.

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References:

https://www.paloaltonetworks.com/cyberpedia/what-is-a-denial-of-service-attack-dos

https://s2.ist.psu.edu/paper/ddos-chap-gu-june-07.pdf

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G93I_v2pa24

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About Shrihari Pandit:

Shrihari Pandit is the President and CEO of Stealth Communications, the NYC-based ISP he co-founded in 1995. Stealth, having built its own fiber-optic network throughout the city, provides high-bandwidth connectivity services to a broad roster of customers in business, education and government.

Prior to Stealth, Mr. Pandit was a network-security consultant to various software and telecom companies, including MCI, Sprint and Sun Microsystems. He also served as an independent consultant to several U.S. agencies, including NASA and the National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC), now part of the Department of Homeland Security.

Telefonica in 800 Gbps trial and network slicing pilot test

Telefonica and its network suppliers Nokia and Huawei have reached data transmission speeds of up to 800 Gbps in two pilot tests of photonic mesh technology. This trial reached speeds of 400 Gbps between Madrid and Barcelona (a distance of 830 kilometres), rising to 800 Gbps in a trial over shorter distances (47 kilometres) in the Madrid metropolitan area.
In a statement, Telefonica said the photonic mesh layer uses WDM (Wavelength Division Multiplexing) technology to achieve higher capacity, reduced latency and far lower energy consumption compared with traditional optical network transmission.
The high-speed trial used Huawei’s OSN 9800 optical equipment and Nokia’s 1830 Photonic Service Switch and 7950 XRS IP router.
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Separately, Telefonica is coordinating a 5G Network Slicing pilot test with Cisco and the University of Vigo.  The objective is to demonstrate how flexible 5G networks can devote specific capacities to different services and customers.This project consists of implementing a demonstrator on laboratory infrastructure at the facilities of the University of Vigo, where three slices will be deployed in order to offer distinctive services: low latency, high bandwidth and emergencies. This will enable, for example, customers to make use of the 5G network and enjoy ultra high-definition content while guaranteeing the resources of the mobile network in the event of an emergency in the area.

With this initiative the intention is also to begin building services for customers to be marketed via Telefónica’s 5G network. The project will thus enable Telefónica to obtain key results that will serve to drive the ecosystem and promote the interoperability and standardisation of this technology with a view to its marketing towards the end customer. Some of the sectors that can benefit the most from Network Slicing are the State Security Corps and Forces, media and communication, cars, industry and hotels.

Fiber optic coverage in Brazil to reach 5.5K municipalities by 2024; telcos want fiber over underground sewage ducts and systems

By 2024, optical fiber should reach 5,500 Brazilian municipalities that do not now have fiber coverage. This is one of the new objectives of Brazil’s General Plan for Universalization Goals.  On Thursday, Brazil’s Communications Ministry approved the issuance of debentures for investments in the telecommunications infrastructure, taking the total initiatives to stimulate the development of the sector to seven. The document was published in the Federal Official Gazette and gathers the obligations that fixed-line operators must fulfill in the next five years.

According to the plan, fiber optic connections should have a minimum capacity of 10 GB per second from the beginning to the end of the stretch that serves the municipality, and cover at least 10% of its territory by December 31, 2021.  If the new target is met, the estimate is that internet coverage by fiber optics will reach around 5.500 cities by 2024. This would be equivalent to 99% of Brazilian municipalities.

Anatel (the National Telecommunications Agency in Brazil) has a period of 3 months to draw up the list of cities that will be covered.  In Brazil, fiber connections already account for almost a third of total fixed broadband connections, according to data from regulator Anatel. All major carriers are expanding their FTTH network.

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Brazilian telecom operators want to be allowed to pass critical telecom transport networks, namely fiber optics, over underground sewage ducts and systems. The topic was discussed during a 5G event held by the Lide group on Thursday, where sector executives called for the issue to be included in the new rules for the sanitation sector. With the aim of making the sector more attractive to private investors, last year saw a new sanitation framework approved by congress and signed into law by President Jair Bolsonaro.

“It’s hard to pass fiber on the surface and sewer systems can be a lever for telecom infrastructure,” said Leonardo Capdeville, chief technology officer at TIM Brasil. “The systems can even be used to pass fiber up to homes and buildings. We could take advantage of the sanitation framework,” he said.

It is a “win-win” relationship, according to the CTO. On the one hand, it generates additional revenue for the sanitation company, while at the same time allowing it to benefit from connectivity that can help improve operating control and management, by preventing leaks in a timely manner for example.

Operators have sought to find alternatives to the obstacles they claim to face in the form of bureaucracy, excessive costs and licenses for rolling out fiber along highways, and also high fees charged by power utilities for the use of lampposts.

Echoing Capdeville, TIM’s regulatory affairs director, Mario Girasole, defended advances in fiber backhaul (transport networks) by joint construction and deployment with power distributors, road concessionaires and sanitation companies.  The idea of using sewage systems and other forms of infrastructure sharing was also defended by the CEO of local telco Oi, Rodrigo Abreu, and Ericsson’s Eduardo Ricotta.

“Optical fiber needs a very large investment and we see this [sharing] trend as a way of no return,” said Ricotta, who is head of the Southern Cone at the Swedish telecom infra provider.  In São Paulo, state utility Sabesp is currently discussing ways to deploy 5G transport infra via sewage systems, according to Adriano Stringhini, the company’s corporate management officer.

 

References:

https://olhardigital.com.br/en/2021/01/28/videos/governo-quer-fibra-optica-em-mais-15-mil-municipios-brasileiros-ate-2025-2/

https://www.bnamericas.com/en/news/brazil-telco-operators-want-to-pass-fiber-optics-via-sewage-systems

LG U+ first to deploy 600G backbone network in Korea with Ciena’s ROADM equipment

South Korea network operator LG U+  today announced it is the first carrier in South Korea to deploy 600Gb/sec on a single wavelength for long haul, using Ciena’s WaveLogic 5 technology. LG U+ made this upgrade to support remote experiences.

The company will establish a ROADM (Re-configurable Optical Add-Drop Multiplexer) backbone network to strengthen the competitiveness of business. LG U+’s newly constructed and dedicated nationwide ROADM backbone network will satisfy the needs of customers and preemptively respond to increased traffic following the introduction of the remote era. For this network transformation, LG U+ has selected Ciena’s WaveLogic 5 Extreme and WaveLogic Ai coherent optical solutions.

Sung-cheol Koo who’s in charge of LG U+’s wired business said, “Amid the expansion of cloud services such as telecommuting, video conferencing and remote classes, we are building a new backbone network that can accommodate the needs of various corporate customers. With a flexible and stable transmission network, we expect that companies can provide a higher level of service.”

LG U+ also applied the Optical Time Domain Reflectometer (OTDR) technology, which measures the loss of optical lines, disconnection points, and distances across the entire section of the new backbone network. By intuitively monitoring the condition of the line in real time, it is possible to shorten the response time in case of a failure.

With rapidly increasing traffic, Ciena will enable LG U+ to transmit single-carrier 600G wavelengths over the new flexible grid backbone that has six times the network capacity compared to the existing network. The new backbone network will provide enhanced availability through low-latency, multiple route diversity and direct connections between large cities without the need for regeneration.

LG U+ is in the process of implementing a major capacity upgrade, including multi-terabits of additional capacity, to accommodate large-capacity customers and enable stable traffic management. By applying OTDR (Optical Time Domain Reflectometer) technology to all sections of the backbone network, real-time and intuitive line condition monitoring is possible to shorten troubleshooting time and enable smooth network management and operations.

I Stock 000019523840 SmallIn addition, Ciena’s 6500 ROADM equipment can reliably configure DR (Disaster Recovery) line services to public government, financial institutions and compute centers of large enterprises through third party interworking certification. LG U+ can also provide a dedicated line service with enhanced security through optical transport encryption.

LGU+ will be using Ciena’s Manage, Control and Plan (MCP) SDN controller to be able to automate service delivery via next-generation OPEN APIs to improve customer experience and increase operational efficiencies.

References:

https://www.ciena.com/about/newsroom/press-releases/lg-u-builds-new-nationwide-backbone-network.html

LG Uplus completes new construction of corporate optical transmission backbone network…Preemptive response to rapidly increasing traffic

 

https://www.lightwaveonline.com/network-design/dwdm-roadm/article/14196156/lg-u-to-deploy-600g-fiber-backbone-across-south-korea

Telecompaper: FTTH spurs growth in Netherlands broadband market

FTTH accounted for all of the new growth on the Netherlands broadband market in Q3 2020, the latest research by Telecompaper shows. Cable operators lost broadband subscribers for the first time on record, suggesting the fiber market is really taking off.

The mass market (consumer + SOHO) added 32,000 fixed broadband subscribers in the third quarter, the same number as in Q2 and slightly less than the year-earlier period, according to Telecompaper’s quarterly Dutch Broadband report.

FTTH growth accelerated to 68,000 new connections, while cable lost 8,000 customers and DSL shed 28,000 lines.  The decrease in cable customers was driven by market leader Ziggo, which lost 7,000 broadband subscribers in the period. This is the first time it has lost customers since launching cable broadband. Nevertheless, Ziggo remains market leader, with over 43 percent of Dutch broadband subscribers.

KPN was the biggest gainer on the market, adding 37,000 broadband customers in Q3. KPN’s growth is driven by the takeover of customers from its discontinued Telfort brand and an accelerating FTTH roll-out in the past year. The KPN brand added over 40,000 FTTH subscribers in the quarter, more than four times the rate of growth in Q3 2019. This increased its share of the total FTTH market to 53.5 percent of connections.

T-Mobile Netherlands also continued to grow, adding 31,000 broadband subscribers. This makes it the third-largest broadband brand with a 5.3 percent market share. In the FTTH segment, T-Mobile is number two with just over 13 percent of connections, followed closely by Caiway with 12 percent.

“The figures suggest KPN’s strategy to speed up its FTTH roll-out is starting to pay off and stem the loss of broadband subscribers,” said Kamiel Albrecht, Telecompaper’s senior research analyst for the Dutch fixed market. “Ziggo is not sitting still and should soon complete its nationwide roll-out of gigabit service, putting the companies on more equal footing. More intensive marketing of the top speeds can be expected in 2021, as the importance of broadband remains top of the mind during the pandemic.”

The above figures are based on Telecompaper’s continuous analysis of the Dutch broadband market. For a comprehensive overview of market data and trends, including a five-year forecast, the Q3 2020 edition of the Dutch Broadband report is now available for purchase on the Telecompaper website.

From Global Data:

The Netherlands' fixed broadband penetration of the population set to reach  48% by 2024

 

Reference:

https://www.telecompaper.com/news/fibre-dominates-dutch-broadband-growth-in-q3-2020–1364963

FTTH accelerating in Europe: penetration forecast to reach 65% in 2026

The number of FTTH/B subscribers in Europe is expected to more than double in the next six years, to 208 million in 2026 compared to an estimated 86 million this year. According to the forecasts by iDate presented at the annual (this time virtual) FTTH Council Europe conference, the number of homes passed by fiber will grow over the same period to 317 million from 195 million. That translates into approximately two-thirds fiber network penetration rate, compared to less than half currently.

 Roland Montagne of Idate DigiWorld presenting during the second day of the conference.

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The forecasts cover 39 countries across Europe. Idate also looked at the 27 EU members plus the UK and found similar growth rates. The number of FTTH/B subscribers in these countries is expected to roughly triple by 2026, to 148 million from 49 million this year, driven by accelerating roll-out in key markets such as Germany, the UK and Italy. Homes passed in the 28 countries are estimated at 202 million in 2026, versus 105 million this year.  Some markets are expected to experience an outstanding growth in the number of homes passed in 2026 compared with 2019, including Germany (+730 per cent), United Kingdom (+548 per cent) and Italy (+218 per cent).

While the Covid pandemic has underlined the need for fast broadband at home, other trends were already underway to support fibre take-up, the researchers said. These include the upcoming switch-off of copper networks, more network-sharing and co-investment agreements, strong commitments from public authorities to FTTH, and the need for fiber backhaul on 5G mobile networks.

In the country rankings, it is predicted that Russia will continue leading in terms of FTTH/B homes passed. However, it is also anticipated that Germany will bag the second spot in the 2026 ranking.

In terms of subscribers, the forecast predicts a further increase to around 148 million in 2026 for EU27+UK and approximately 208 million for EU38+UK. The FTTH/B take-up rate is likely to reach 73 per cent in 2026, demonstrating an upward trend compared with a recorded 23.4 per cent in 2012.

The FTTH Council Europe published a separate study by Wik following up on its research last year into the progress with copper shutdowns. While the situation is fragmented in Europe, progress in some countries shows turning off copper and switching to fibre can have significant benefits for the economy and the environment, as well as improving reliability and customer satisfaction.

Consumer awareness about the copper shutdown has been a positive factor in some countries in stimulating fiber take-up. The latest forecasts on fibre take-up are also based in part on the increased perception of broadband’s importance since the coronavirus pandemic. Nevertheless, additional measures by policy-makers aimed at increasing take-up are still crucial for Europe to benefit from the potential of full fiber, the Council said.

FTTH/B deployments are intensifying across Europe, so it is worth noting that a new digital divide for teleworking performance was revealed by the Covid-19 crisis. Beyond its impact on public policies, it is clear that Covid-19 has changed public perception of the importance of broadband and willingness to accept premium for fiber. This new trend is one of the key drivers for the very high estimates for FTTH/B take up. However, additional measures by policy-makers aimed at increasing take-up are still crucial for the future of full fiber.

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References:

https://www.primaonline.it/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/PR-Market-Forecasts-market-panorama-2020-3-03-2020-FINAL.pdf

https://www.ftthcouncil.eu/documents/FTTH%20Council%20Europe%20-%20Forecast%20for%20EUROPE%202020-2026%20AFTER%20COVID19%20-%20FINAL%20Published%20Version.pdf

https://www.ftthcouncil.eu/documents/FTTH%20Council%20Europe%20-%20Panorama%20at%20September%202019%20-%20Webinar%20Version4.pdf

https://www.telecompaper.com/news/ftth-take-up-accelerating-in-europe-penetration-forecast-to-reach-65-in-2026–1364315

https://www.fibre-systems.com/news/fibre-forecasts-revealed-ftth-conference

UK set to join Europe’s big guns on full fibre rollout

India’s Telco and Infrastructure Groups: Fiber Optic Network Growth Essential

Growth in fiber optic network deployments are essential to further improve the quality of telecom services and support the surging mobile Internet demand as well as have potential to bring substantial social and economic benefits to consumers, businesses and state governments, India’s telco and infrastructure groups said.  The Delhi-based telecom body represents Reliance JioBharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea.

“Growth of fibre is the foremost priority for the ongoing exponential increase in data demand and improved quality of services,” the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) director-general SP Kochhar told ETTelecom.

Currently, India has an optical fiber-based network spanning across 28 lakh (100,000) kilometres as against the target set up by the National Broadband Mission to deploy as much as 50 lakh kilometres of optical fiber by 2024.

Kochhar’s views were seconded by the Towers and Infrastructure Providers Association (Taipa) that lobbies for companies such as Bharti Infratel, American Tower Corporation (ATC) India, Ascend Telecom Infrastructure, Indus Towers and Sterlite Technologies.

“The fiberisation of existing telecom infrastructure has the potential to bring substantial social and economic benefits to governments, citizens and businesses through an increase in productivity, competitiveness, improvements in service delivery, and optimal use of scarce resources like spectrum,” Tilak Raj Dua, director-general at Taipa said.

Editor’s Note:

The National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) is a project initiated in 2011 and funded by Universal Service Obligation Fund to provide broadband connectivity to over 200,000 gram panchayats of India at an initial cost of ₹200 billion (US$2.8 billion).  This is to be achieved utilizing the existing optical fiber and extending it to the Gram Panchayats and Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL), is a special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), PSU set up under companies act by Govt of India under Rule 1956 has been registered on Feb 25, 2012 for management and Operation of NOFN.  More info at: http://www.bbnl.nic.in/index1.aspx?lsid=13&lev=1&lid=13&langid=1

Info) Indian Railways Optical Fiber Network Map by Railtel | RRB EXAM PORTAL - Railway Jobs, NTPC, ALP, ASM Exam Community

     Indian Railways Fiber Optic Network Map

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The pan India average of fiber to the tower ratio presently stands at 32% as against the target of 70% by 2024, envisaged by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), according to Taipa statistics.

Following the progression in the fourth-generation (4G) network deployments over the last couple of years, and the upcoming fifth-generation (5G) cellular technology, experts caution that low fiberization would eventually impact the service delivery, and a uniform policy across the country is much needed.

“In the last four years we have not had an increase in backhaul spectrum, hence, we are dealing with constrained factors and have to manage the quality of services based on existing capacity, for everybody’s good,” Kochhar said.

Coai said that the increased fiberization would meet the present requirement of bandwidth and future technologies such as 5G, and other emerging technologies,” Kochhar said and added that the early allocation of E and V bands to meet the backhaul requirements is also being considered by the government.

Dua further said that in order to address the increased data consumption in rural and urban areas and remote working following the Covid-19 outbreak, the role of fiberisation to propel digitalisation has increased multifold.

India, according to Crisil needs a tectonic shift in the fiberization landscape, and investment in fiberised backhaul infrastructure providing unlimited capacity and higher data speeds has to gain further traction if 5G has to become a reality.

Sandeep Aggarwal, co-chairman of the Telecom Equipment and Services Export Promotion Council (Tepc) believes that it is imperative to have a robust fibre infrastructure in the country to complement the next-generation or 4G and 5G technologies in line with the National Digital Communications Policy (NDCP) unveiled in 2018.

Former telecom secretary Shyamal Ghosh-headed Tepc represents Aksh Optifibre, Birla Cables, Paramount Wires & Cables, Himachal Futuristic Communications, Finolex Cables and Polycab Wires.

“With nearly 3 million kilometres of optic fibre cable (OFC) presently deployed, India will need to further enhance the footprint with an average of 2-kilometre of fibre per person,” Aggarwal said and added that more than 1 million kilometres of cable TV (CATV) fibre has been laid over the last one year in the country.

Private and public sector entities such as Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) and RailTel majorly contribute to the current fibre footprint in the country in addition to Centre’s ambitious BharatNet program that further aims to deploy nearly 8 lakh kilometres of fibre network separately.

There is a need to adopt new business models such as hiving off fibre assets via the Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvIT) model that will help in reducing capital expense requirements and allowing telecom operators to focus on topline growth opportunities, according to Aggarwal.

Billionaire Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio and Sunil Mittal-driven Bharti Airtel have already sold-off their fiber verticals to become financially-nimble pure-play telecom services companies.

Taipa’s Dua feels that the upcoming cities would be built on the basis of readily available optical fiber cables, and next-generation telecom infrastructure and technologies like 5G.

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References:

https://telecom.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/fiber-deployment-critical-for-quality-of-service-economic-benefits-telecom-infrastructure-companies/79208500

https://telecom.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/5g-is-very-much-dependent-on-fiberization-airtel-cto-randeep-sekhon/78444072

https://telecom.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/preparing-for-the-future-how-fiber-networks-will-support-growing-telecom-demand/78632667

ICRA: Indian Telecom Industry Must Migrate from Copper to Dense Fiber Optic Networks