Swisscom achieves 50 Gbps on a fixed PON connection – a world first!

Swisscom has achieved transmission speeds of 50 Gbps  in a real PON (Passive Optical Network) environment test – a world first, according to the company.  Swisscom has upgraded existing OLT (Optical Line Termination) hardware with a 50 Gbps PON Line Card prototype to reach a download speed of 50 Gbps and an upload speed of 25 Gbps on a fixed network.

The PON technology can be ready to market and deployed in around two years, according to Swisscom. It can be an option for business customers initially. Progressive network virtualization will enable companies to use the bandwidth they need on a flexible basis in line with their requirements.

The 10 Gbps service is expected to be sufficient for the residential mass market for several years yet, the company said. The 50 Gbps option allows for flexible deployment using existing fibre-optic infrastructure.

Markus Reber, Head of Swisscom Networks, said: “There is no question that the bandwidth need will continue to increase over the coming years. That’s why, here at Swisscom, we are already considering how our technology needs to develop to ensure that Switzerland continues to be ready to take advantage of the latest digital services with the best possible experience in the future. The results of testing based on PON technology and architecture clearly demonstrate that we have some powerful options available.”

“In my opinion, PON with 50 Gbit/s will be an option for the business customer market initially. Progressive network virtualisation will enable companies to use the bandwidth they need on a flexible basis in line with their requirements, for instance. In contrast, the 10 Gbit/s already available in the residential mass market should be more than enough for several years to come. However, the 50 Gbit/s option offers even more opportunities, as it allows the existing fibre optic infrastructure to be deployed in a more versatile way. As an example, the technology will soon facilitate access to mobile communication masts, particularly for 5G, as the same network can be used as the one already built to connect households. With a transmission speed of 50 Gbit/s, there is ample bandwidth available.”

The technology also will support fiber optic access to mobile communication masts, particularly for 5G, since the same network can be used as the one already built to connect households.

Swisscom says that “over the coming years, the development of digital applications will result in a similar growth in bandwidth need as seen in recent years, when it increased more than tenfold within a decade. Swisscom is therefore investing in network expansion on an ongoing basis, deploying the latest innovative technologies to do so and safeguarding Switzerland’s high degree of digital competitiveness.”

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In April 2020, market research powerhouse Omdia (owned by Informa) forecast that In the 2018-2025 timeframe, the PON market will see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.3% to be worth $8.4 billion by 2025. “This market remains in an upswing as operators continue to expand and upgrade their fiber-based access networks for both residential and non-residential subscribers and applications,” states the Omdia team in their report (published prior to the global impact of COVID-19, it should be noted).

PON and xDSL/Gfast equipment market by major segment, 2017-2025.

Omdia: PON and xDSL/Gfast equipment market by major segment, 2017–2025

Growth in the PON market will be driven by increasing demand for next-generation PON equipment, including 10G GPON, 10G EPON, NG-PON2 and 25G/50G PON, according to Omdia: By 2021, most GPON OLT (optical line terminal) shipments are expected to be 10G.

Omdia expects demand for NG-PON2 equipment (which is expensive because it includes tunable lasers) is expected to be limited, with significant deployments anticipated only by one major operator, Verizon.

In Western Europe, PON investments are only just starting: That market is set for a CAGR of 16.5% to be worth $1.6 billion in 2025.

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References:

https://www.swisscom.ch/en/about/news/2020/10/08-weltpremiere.html

https://www.swisscom.ch/content/dam/swisscom/en/about/news/2020/10/08-weltpremiere/08-weltpremiere-en.pdf.res/08-weltpremiere-en.pdf

https://www.telecompaper.com/news/swisscom-reaches-50-gbps-in-real-network-environment–1357116

http://www.broadbandworldnews.com/document.asp?doc_id=758638

AT&T ends DSL sales while CWA criticizes AT&T’s broadband deployments

AT&T: DSL is Dead:

According to a message board post on DSL Reports, AT&T notified customers on billing statements in August that effective Oct. 1 it would no longer accept new orders for its copper-based DSL service.  The notice also said that existing DSL subs will no longer be able to make speed changes to their respective DSL service.

The message board author wrote:

“On my August AT&T statement, traditional DSL is officially grandfathered effective October 1st. No new orders (moves, installs, speed change, etc.). Hopefully they will still allow promos….”

That’s no surprise to this author.  AT&T’s DSL subscriber base has been eroding steadily – losing almost 350,000 subs over the past couple of years. In Q2 2020, AT&T shed 23,000 DSL subs, ending the period with just 463,000.

“We are focused on enhancing our network with more advanced, higher speed technologies like fiber and wireless, which consumers are demanding,” AT&T said in a statement. “We’re beginning to phase out outdated services like DSL and new orders for the service will no longer be supported after October 1. Current DSL customers will be able to continue their existing service or where possible upgrade to our 100% fiber network.”

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AT&T Fiber Update:

AT&T also announced three new price points for its AT&T Fiber tiers and said that all new and existing AT&T Fiber Internet 100, Internet 300 and Internet 1000 subscribers would enjoy unlimited data without additional charges. AT&T Fiber started offering the new deals as a standalone product with no annual contracts for new customers on Sunday.

As of Q2-2020, AT&T had 4.3 million AT&T Fiber customers with nearly two million of them on 1-gigabit speeds. Overall, AT&T has about 15.3 million broadband subscribers while Charter has 28 million and Comcast has over 29 million.

AT&T’s fiber tier announcement comes after AT&T CEO John Stankey told a Goldman Sachs investor conference in September that “priority number one” is investing in fiber for 5G and FTTP services.

The new prices are also an indication that AT&T intends to ramp up its drive on FTTP sales in the wake of a recent study showing that many of AT&T’s new subs were coming from existing customers upgrading to fiber rather than from gaining market share from cable Internet operators (MSOs).

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CWA Calls Out AT&T’s broadband efforts:

Coincidently today, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) criticized AT&T’s lack of fiber deployments.  The report, co-authored with the National Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) stated:

AT&T is making the digital divide worse and failing its customers and workers by not investing in crucial buildout of fiber-optic infrastructure that is the standard for broadband networks worldwide. The company’s recent job cuts — more than 40,000 since 2018 — are devastating communities and hobbling the company’s ability to meet the critical need for broadband infrastructure.

An in-depth analysis of AT&T’s network shows the company has made fiber available to fewer than a third of households in its footprint, halting most residential deployment after mid-2019. The analysis also shows that 28% of households in AT&T’s footprint do not have access to service that meets the FCC’s standard for high-speed internet, and in rural counties 72% of households lack this access. In some places, AT&T is decommissioning its outdated DSL networks and leaving customers with no option but wireless service, which is not a substitute for wireline service.

In all, AT&T has made fiber-to-the-home available for fewer than one-third of the households in its network. AT&T’s employees — many of whom are Communications Workers of America (CWA) members — know that the company could be doing much more to connect its customers to high-speed Internet if it invested in upgrading its wireline network with fiber. They know the company’s recent job cuts — more than 40,000 since 2018 — are devastating communities and hobbling the company’s ability to meet the critical need for broadband infrastructure.

CWA recommends that AT&T dedicate a substantial share of its free cash flow to investment in next-generation networks across rural and urban communities, make its low-income product offerings available widely, and stop laying off its skilled, unionized workers and outsourcing work to low-wage, irresponsible subcontractors.

Editor’s Note:

According to CWA, AT&T has deployed fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) to only 28% of the households in its fiber coverage area as of the end of June 30, 2019.

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The CWA/NDIA report said AT&T has targeted more affluent, non-rural areas for its fiber upgrades. Houses with fiber have a median income that’s 34% higher than those with DSL only. Across the rural counties in AT&T’s 21-state footprint, only a miniscule 5% have access to fiber, according to the report.

According to the report, 14.93 million—out of almost 53 million households—have access to AT&T’s fiber service. Among states, AT&T’s FTTH build out is the lowest in Michigan with 14% have access followed by Mississippi (15%) and Arkansas (16%).

“AT&T is also failing to make fiber available to the majority of its customer base in cities,” according to the report.  “While most of AT&T’s fiber build has focused on urban areas—96 percent of households with access to fiber in AT&T’s footprint are in predominantly urban counties—the company hasn’t built enough fiber to reach the majority of urban residents. Seventy percent of households in urban counties still lack access to fiber from AT&T because the company has made fiber available to only 14.7 million households out of 48.4 million total households in these counties.”

The report also said there were many areas in AT&T’s footprint where it doesn’t offer the Federal Communications Commission’s “broadband” definition of 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream.

“For 28% of the households in its network footprint, AT&T’s internet service does not meet the FCC’s 25/3 Mbps benchmark to be considered broadband,” the report said.  A key recommendation is that “AT&T must upgrade its network in rural communities to meet the FCC’s broadband definition, at least, and renew its efforts to deploy next-generation fiber.”

The report noted that in some areas where AT&T doesn’t provide faster speeds, cable operators, such as Comcast and Charter do.

“Even where that access is available from another provider­—typically a cable provider—consumers are deprived of the benefits of competition in price, choice and service quality,” the report said.

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AT&T is counting on fiber for both residential and commercial services, including AT&T TV. In order to win over customers from cable operators, AT&T has paired its 1-Gig service with AT&T TV.

Regarding DSL, the report states: “AT&T’s poor maintenance of its DSL networks, with limited capacity for new connections, results in would-be new customers in some areas being denied service entirely or told they can only subscribe to fixed wireless service (a 4G wireless connection for home use, designed for rural areas).”

As expected, AT&T refuted the claims made in the CWA/NDIA report in a statement to FierceTelecom and Broadband World News on Monday afternoon.

“Our investment decisions are based on the capacity needs of our network and demand for our services. We do not ‘redline’ internet access and any suggestion that we do is wrong.  We have invested more in the United States over the past 5 years (2015-2019) than any other public company. We have spent more than $125 billion in our U.S. wireless and wireline networks, including capital investments and acquisition of wireless spectrum and operations. Our 5G network provides high-speed internet access nationwide, our fiber network serves more 18 million customer locations and we continue to invest to expand both networks.”

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New Fiber Optics Market Report:

Finally, a new report by Technavio forecasts that the global fiber optics market size will grow by USD 2.44 billion during 2020-2024, progressing at a CAGR of almost 5% throughout the forecast period.

Technavio has announced its latest market research report titled Global Fiber Optics Market 2020-2024 (Graphic: Business Wire)

Image Credit:  Technavio

The increase in the number of FTTH homes and subscribers is the key factor driving the market growth. A higher number of customers are opting for fiber optic connections to leverage broadband services. This reduces the requirements for customer premises equipment (CPE) and distribution point unit (DPU).

References:

https://www.dslreports.com/forum/r32848850-DSL-is-officially-grandfathered-Get-orders-in-BEFORE-October

https://cwa-union.org/news/releases/new-reports-detail-how-telecoms-companies-att-are-failing-provide-broadband-and-good

https://cwa-union.org/sites/default/files/20201005attdigitalredlining.pdf

https://www.fiercetelecom.com/telecom/cwa-calls-out-at-t-s-lack-fiber-its-dsl-footprint

http://www.broadbandworldnews.com/document.asp?doc_id=764417

AT&T CEO: Fiber, Stories and (Video) Content to drive future revenues and growth

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201005005444/en/

 

 

Broadband Forum and LAN Laboratory Expand Certification Program to include XGS-PON

As demand for fiber networks continues to grow, the Broadband Forum has expanded its  BBF.247 Optical Network Unit (ONU) Certification Program to include XGS-PON.

This latest update extends the program to a variety of key features needed by operators deploying XGS-PON networks. The certification is just one piece of Broadband Forum’s vision to provide network operators with the tools, open specifications, and open source references necessary to bring new services and technologies to their customers more rapidly. Certified ONU products can be deployed quickly, with improved interoperability to existing Optical Line Terminal (OLT) equipment already deployed. Similarly, certified ONU products will also work directly with newer Broadband Forum specifications, including the forthcoming virtual OMCI specifications and software defined access networks.

The XGS-PON extensions add to the BBF.247 G-PON initiative – which has now certified nearly 100 products since its launch in 2011. The new test plan will see ONUs undergo rigorous testing at Broadband Forum’s official certification program test laboratory Laboratoire des Applications Numeriques (LAN Laboratory), using MT2’s ONU testing solution. The work will confirm conformance to the latest PON ITU-T standards, providing network operators with assurance that they can deliver efficient networks and a high-quality customer experience. New additions to the technology are also now tested, including extended OMCI messages format, Enhanced Unicast & Multicast Operations, and Capacity Tests & Performance Monitoring. This increases the number of certification test cases by more than 50% compared to the previous version.

Eight products, including single or multi-user port ONUs/L2 and Residential Gateways from Altice Labs, CommScope, Huawei, Humax, KAONMEDIA, Sagemcom, Sercomm and ZTE have already been certified under the new BBF.247 certification program.

“The introduction of XGS-PON certification by Broadband Forum is a significant and positive step for the PON ecosystem as interoperability will encourage growth,” said Jaeseok Kim, Head of Infra Planning at SK Broadband. “This will become increasingly important as more operators look to upgrade existing network to meet consumer demand for Gigabit + speeds.”

Claudio Mathys, Product Manager Wireline Access Networks at Swisscom (Schweiz) AG, added: “Establishing interoperability and testing requirements are key elements in a liberated market. The introduction of XGS-PON from Swisscom as a technology leader – in conjunction with the certification and testing program from Broadband Forum – will significantly enhance the confidence from our competitors for CPE certification as based on industry standards and independent references. Achieving Broadband Forum certification is the entry ticket for connectivity to our network. We will definitely avoid the painful experience made with xDSL interoperability/complexity – right from the beginning.”

Hugues Le Bras, Network Engineer in Fixed Access Networks at Orange, said: “The role of interoperability and standards has only become more important as broadband grows in popularity and operators upgrade their networks to meet consumer demand. Orange already requests BBF.247 certification for each ONU deployed on the field. However, this expansion of Broadband Forum’s certification program will give us confidence when deploying next-generation technology that will enable the future era of connectivity. The latest additions to the certification also bring new features, such as flexibility and monitoring, which are essential for Orange throughout the ONU life.”

A future XGS-PON interoperability test event will take place at LAN Laboratory, in Tauxigny, France, from October 5 to 9, 2020, allowing vendors worldwide to exercise their OLT or Optical Network Terminal (ONT) solutions against each other. The event will give all equipment vendors the opportunity to improve the interoperability of their products by testing them against the other solutions presented at the event.

“Our existing G-PON certification has made a significant impact on ensuring products meet standards, and this latest expansion of the program will give operators the confidence to roll out mass XGS-PON deployments,” said Robin Mersh, CEO at Broadband Forum. “We now want to instill this same assurance in the industry for upcoming ITU PON technology, including XGS-PON and NG-PON2. XGS-PON is a major step in network evolution, supporting the expansion of 5G and through BBF.247 certification, we can ensure network interoperability.”

Thierry Doligez, Director of LAN Laboratory, said: “Both operators and vendors increasingly recognize the importance of certification in order to speed up deployment and we are proud to partner with Broadband Forum on this extension of its G-PON certification program. As operators move to upgrade their networks to meet increasing consumer demand, the new testing will make sure they are investing in trusted products which will guarantee a certain level of service. ONU manufacturers will also benefit from this substantial program update as it will give them the chance to prove their conformance against enhanced features.”

For more information or to actively get involved with Broadband Forum’s work on higher speed PON technologies, visit: www.broadband-forum.org.

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BBF.247 certification program is open to all GPON, XG-PON and XGS-PON ONU products with Ethernet Interfaces and is based on the Broadband Forum’s TP-247/IR-247 test plan. It tests conformance to TR-156 and TR-280 using OMCI as defined in the ITU G.988, which are the most critical standards to interoperable implementations.
The Broadband Forum has reviewed and authorized the following independent testing agency to administer the approved BBF.247 tests and assess eligibility of products for the Broadband Forum Certification. For more information or to schedule testing, please contact the laboratory directly:

    • Since 2009, the BBF has collaborated with FSAN (Full Service Access Network) on interoperability testing plugfests on the physical, TC and upper layers for GPON, with FSAN leading on the first two and BBF on the last.

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About Broadband Forum

Broadband Forum is the communications industry’s leading organization focused on accelerating broadband innovation, standards, and ecosystem development. Our members’ passion – delivering on the promise of broadband by enabling smarter and faster broadband networks and a thriving broadband ecosystem.

A non-profit industry organization composed of the industry’s leading broadband operators, vendors, and thought leaders, our work to date has been the foundation for broadband’s global proliferation and innovation. For example, the Forum’s flagship TR-069 CPE WAN Management Protocol has nearly 1 billion installations worldwide.

Broadband Forum working groups collaborate to define best practices for global networks, enable new revenue-generating service and content delivery, establish technology migration strategies, and engineer critical device, service & development management tools in the home and business IP networking infrastructure. We develop multi-service broadband packet networking specifications addressing architecture, device and service management, software data models, interoperability and certification in the broadband market.

Our free technical reports and white papers can be found at https://www.broadband-forum.org/

About Laboratoire des Applications Numeriques (LAN Laboratory)

The Laboratoire des Applications Numeriques (LAN) is a unique independent laboratory specialized in conformance, interoperability and coexistence tests of devices deployed by telecom operators in the access and home networks (DSL, G-PON, Broadband-PLC, …), by DSOs in Smartgrids networks using powerline communications (G3-PLC), and by the industry in video security networks (E&PoC). LAN also offers on-demand test services dedicated to PON network operators, addressing their needs in terms of pre-deployment qualification tests for each specific network they operate. LAN is one of the Broadband Forum’s Approved Test Laboratory (ATL), the unique one accredited by the Broadband Forum to conduct the worldwide recognized BBF.247 certification tests for G-PON, XG-PON and XGS-PON terminals.

For more information on Laboratoire des Applications Numeriques, please go to www.lanpark.eu, follow @Laboratoire_LAN on Twitter, or send an Email to contact@lanpark.eu.

About MT2

MT2 leads the industry in FTTH G-PON and XGS-PON network test, offering troubleshoot, monitoring deep analysis of products, and ‘single-click’ automated test suite solutions. MT2’s analyzers and OLT emulators have the unique powerful features to allow the user to simply ‘software-select’, and switch between GPON, XG-PON, XGS-PON or NG-PON2, all within the same single system. MT2 ensures the complicated protocols and subscriber internet access traffic complies with every spec, automatically, using a powerful and intuitive user interface, high precision and innovative design. MT2 actively contributes to the Broadband Forum activity, as a test-tool vendor, and developed its FTTH automated test suites for functionality and performance testing, covering BBF.247, TR-309 and TR-255, critical to ensure system quality and full validation of any operator’s FFTH network.

For more information on MT2, please go to www.mt2.fr, follow MT2ftth on LinkedIn, or send an Email to mt2@mt2.fr

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References:

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200608005273/en/Broadband-Forum-LAN-Laboratory-Expand-Certification-XGS-PON

BBF.247 GPON ONU Certification

 

Openreach on benefit of FTTP in UK; Full Fiber rollouts increasing

A new report commissioned by UK fixed line infrastructure provider Openreach has concluded the UK would be £59 billion better off with full FTTP.

The report -‘Full fibre broadband: A platform for growth’ – was compiled by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).  The conclusion is that if the UK were to achieve ubiquitous fibre to the premises (FTTP) by 2025, UK productivity would increase by almost £59 billion, due to smarter ways of working and better public services made possible by FTTP.

It appears that the CEBR had a look at the effect FTTP has had in places where it’s already available and scaled that up to the whole country. It also tried to factor in other disruptive technological events such as mass ICT and even railways to get a sense of the transformative effect of everyone having faster broadband than they currently do.

“Full fibre is a vehicle to turbocharge our economy post-Brexit, with the power to renew towns and communities across the UK,” said Openreach CEO Clive Selley. “We’re proud to be leading the way with over 1.8 million homes and businesses already having access to our full fibre network. We’re currently building full fibre to around 22,000 premises a week– which is one every 28 seconds. But we want to go even faster and further – to 15 million premises and beyond if we can get the right conditions to invest.”

“Through our Fibre First programme, Openreach is now building to 103 locations across the UK and we’re on track to build to four million premises by March 2021. With the right policies and regulation, we can build a better, more reliable broadband network faster than any other country in the world and unlock the benefits for the whole UK. If that doesn’t happen, then many people will be locked out of a more connected future and the UK could lose its status as a global digital leader.”

Openreach believes the telecoms sector should be exempt from paying business rates for the foreseeable future, be granted better access to blocks of flats and other such buildings and get a regulatory environment more conducive to investment.

To read the full report as well as Openreach’s thoughts on how the roll-out of full FTTP can be speeded up, please click here.

To some extent Openreach is pushing at an open door here, since no one thinks faster broadband is a bad idea. This report is just part of the ongoing lobbying campaign to get the UK state to be a bit more helpful when it comes to fibre infrastructure and, presumably, to maintain the momentum created by Boris Johnson’s enthusiasm for fibre.

Meanwhile, the pace of Openreach full fiber roll-outs is increasing.  There are now 1,604,178 premises where the Openreach FTTP services can be ordered from assorted retailers. This is an increase of 110,247 compared to the previous month and gives a build rate of 25,724 premises a week.

Splits for Openreach FTTP and changed in category since 12th September 2019:

  • 463,391 premises via BDUK/gap funded or other rural intervention (increase of 10, reality in the 6000-7000 range)
  • 764,521 premises in Fibre First areas (increase of 129,876)
  • 270,774 premises via New Build since January 2016 (increase of 29,784)
  • 107,468 premises via commercial/old roll-out (decrease of 47,447)

The big take-away should be for the increasing number of full fibre operators both big and small, that if you need high levels of take-up to sustain your business model in the short to medium term you need to do a lot of community engagement and pricing needs to be the same or lower than the price people are paying today even if your speeds are significantly higher.

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About Openreach:

Openreach works on behalf of communications providers to build and maintain the UK’s digital network — the lines, poles and cables used to provide phone, broadband and TV services. We don’t provide phone, broadband or TV services directly to consumers. To get these services, you should contact a communications provider below to find out about the packages they can offer you.

References:

https://www.openreach.com/full-fibre-impact

http://telecoms.com/500272/openreach-explains-why-fttp-is-such-a-great-idea/

https://www.thinkbroadband.com/news/8565-pace-of-openreach-full-fibre-roll-out-may-be-increasing

https://www.openreach.com/fibre-broadband/fttp-providers