The impact of FTTH network architectures on the efficient use of active equipment
With the increasing dependency on digital services and growing hunger for higher bandwidth, operators need to build an efficient FTTH network enabling residential connections. Offering unrestricted broadband services at minimal and predictable cost will be the key for operators to sustain and excel in the long run. To keep up with the growing demand, active equipment evolves at a fast pace but making the upgrades and replacements affordable also depends on the FTTH architecture defined at the start of an FTTH rollout. It is important to optimize and improve the usage of active equipment while building an FTTH network to achieve the lowest operational cost and reduced ecological footprint of digital services.
I did touch this subject about 5 years ago but I felt the subject needed an update based on newer experiences but above all, price points mentioned in a previous version did evolve dramatically and it has an impact on the overall result. Read: prices of OLT cards have dropped so why would you still save on active equipment? Well today you might install GPON line cards whose prices have decreased over the last few years but tomorrow one might want to upgrade directly to the latest generation like NG-PON2 line cards which come at a higher price. So, a saving today will be a saving tomorrow and will repeat every few years as transmission equipment generations develop fast. It is not only about CAPEX on the first day, but also about the OPEX over the next 50 years. Let us not forget that the previous network based on copper wires lasted for a century, obviously with upgrades and the addition of fibre as a long-stretched lifeline.