Working Together: Synergies between Fibre and Wireless Stephen Hough Business Development Manager Sterlite Technologies Ltd
• Overview of wireless• Fact and figures• Synergies (including with WiFi)• Conclusions
Wireless Technologies ExplainedOverview• Communication through the air essentially fulfils one of two functions. Fixed wireless access provides an extension or replacement for wireline access networks Mobile networks are designed to meet the communications needs of people on the move• Different technologies have been developed around these different user scenarios Fibre is the common denominator - Required for FTTx, WiMax, 4G LTE
Wireless Technologies Explained• Local area networks (LANs) provide connectivity to a local group of computers and other electronic devices. Wireless LANs were developed to serve places where it was difficult or expensive to install LAN cabling. The technology has been standardised by the IEEE Standards Association under IEEE 802.11, but is better known by its brand name Wi-Fi.
Wireless Technologies Explained• In order to offer a "Wi-Fi like" user experience on a larger geographical scale such as a city or campus, new wireless standards were needed Described by the IEEE 802.16 standards, wireless metropolitan area networks (MANs) have been commercialised under the name WiMAX.
Wireless Technologies Explained• Mobile or cellular networks provide connectivity over a wide area and allow users to move seamlessly between different locations on the same network or even between different networks (roaming)• Originally designed to carry voice services, mobile technology was later adapted to support data transfer• The latest generation of mobile network standards, known as Long Term Evolution (LTE), have been designed from the ground up to support data transmission
Consumer Data Traffic by DeviceIP traffic growth puts pressure on mobile networks Source: Cisco, Visual Networking Index (2012)
Broadband Data Traffic (UK) – March 2011 Effect of data offloading on fixed-mobile convergence. Broadband data traffic in March 2011 Mobile broadband data traffic in March 2011 Active broadband connections 18 million Active 3G connections 38 million Total data uploaded / 311 million GB Total data uploaded / 9 million GB downloaded downloaded Data per connection 17 GB Data per 3G connection 0.24GB Percentage of data 38% Percentage of data transferred 32% transferred between 6pm and between 6pm and midnight midnight (peak usage hours) (peak usage hours)Source: Ofcom operators; cited in Fixed and Mobile Networks: Substitution, Complementary and Convergence: the Working Party onCommunication Infrastructures and Services Policy for Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry
Synergies with FibreChallenges of Mobile Backhaul – Wireless is Only Wireless at the Edges Source IDATE Consulting & Ethernity
Synergies with FibreChallenges of Mobile Backhaul – Wireless is Only Wireless at the Edges• Backhaul Capacity As the mobile data rates increase, the mobile backhaul capacity needs a corresponding increaseTechnology Voice Spectrum (MHz) Data Spectrum (MHz) Total Bandwidth (Mbps)GSM 2G 1.2 1.32.75G GSM/EDGE 1.2 2.3 6.1HDSPA 3G 5 21LTE 4G 10 79.8
Synergies with FibreChallenges of Mobile Backhaul – Wireless is Only Wireless at the Edges• Mobile operators are under financial Pressure 10 years of investing heavily in 3G infrastructure Looking to minimise further investment whilst deploying LTE to meet the escalating demand for mobile bandwidth• Infrastructure Exploit existing infrastructure where possible Lowest cost option is to use their own installed connections; however the increased demand makes this policy unviable• Fibre Some operators are already using optical fibre to connect to mobile base stations; where a new connection is required it make sense to install optical fibre Optical fibre has virtually unlimited capacity and can support future upgrades without requiring new cables
WiFi - InbuildingWhat about WiFi?• In buildings, it is used to distribute broadband signals around the home or business• Mobiles are being developed to allow the users to seamlessly swap from mobile networks to WiFi• More and more devices such as smartphones and tablets only have wireless interfaces, hence wireless is the only choice• Mobile operators can also extend in-building coverage with femtocells
WiFi - OutsideWiFi is becoming popular outside too• Wireless networks are appearing in major cities, offering the opportunity to drop from the mobile networks• Rural areas where the cost to build a FTTH/FTTB network can be prohibitive• As with mobile networks, WiFi networks still need to backhaul the data to the primary or core network• The capacity of WiFi networks will be diluted if copper-based networks are used to provide the backhaul.
Conclusions• Mobile service providers are seeing an upsurge of data traffic. Consumers expect; ready access to online services to consume large amounts of data to have the freedom to move around• Wireless data traffic is also growing stimulated by the influx of dual-mode 3G and WiFi smartphones, affordable pricing and new online services• Mobile broadband networks have evolved over time but have reached saturation point Networks require a major overhaul to make them robust enough to meet future demand The answer is in network upgrades and exploiting fibre infrastructure offering; very high bandwidth Future proofing
Conclusions FTTH RAN OLT 1 Gbps 1 Gbps 100 Mbps Example ‐ FTTH network used for LTE backhaul Access NodeSource: Ericsson
ConclusionsWireless should be considered as a complementary technology to fibre ratherthan a competing technology, promoted for its strengths;• Mobile computing and networking with limited requirements for services and bit rates Legacy wireless networks will struggle to cope with the demands of large data transmission.• Services in very sparsely populated areas, where the deployment of new wire- line networks may not be commercially viable. Coverage with wireless access networks can be provided comparatively quickly and at relatively low cost, at least for a transient period.
Conclusions• When combined with wired networks wireless services can provide alternative backhaul capabilities to meet the increase in mobile data demand. Cost of delivering mobile data traffic will be greatly reduced. Valuable asset, the licensed spectrum, will be preserved.• Utilisation of fibre infrastructure to minimise capital expenditure Deploying a new fibre infrastructure is capital intensive, so there is a persuasive argument for sharing capital expenditure by deploying FTTH broadband access and mobile backhaul at the same time• Fibre and Wireless are Synergistic Both the network operators and the consumers will gain from complementary rather than competing markets
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