NGPON2 will give Verizon between 10 and 20 times the speed, latency and automation benefits of earlier passive optical networks, Chief Technology Officer Kyle Malady told Verizon 2019 Investor Conference attendees today.
"This is our natural evolution of the PON technology we used in Fios for years. Next Gen PON 2, we'll be deploying nationwide, wherever we deploy fiber assets," he said during the event. "It's an evolution, but what it does is it gives us like 10-20 times more speed [and] latency benefits, as well as automation benefits that we're going to bring to the table. And we can use this in our network to serve all our business units."
Verizon will serve all customers from one network, dubbed the Intelligent Edge Network, that leverages NGPON2's ability to converge multiple networks -- such as residential, mobile and enterprise -- onto one. Obviously, that dramatically reduces expenses once implemented, a vision Verizon has doggedly pursued for the past several years. Wireline network capex fell 28% last year versus 2017, and is expected to drop 17% this year and another 15% in 2020, according to Verizon. By comparison, 2017 capex fell only 7% from 2016 expenditures, the provider reported.
"We went from four vertical networks to one horizontal one," said CEO Hans Vestberg during today's conference. "The more we can get on that network, the more capacity and usage, the better it is. We had wireline and wireless for many reasons for a long time. We are now looking at the customers.
"Fiber, 5G, 4G, fiber-to-the-home -- all that we can now offer to our customers instead of dividing them among technologies. For us, we think we can create more opportunities for growth. We can decide how far we go in the stack."
Construction of OneFiber is underway across 60 cities, CTO Malady said. In addition to its vital role in FTTH for residential customers, fiber-to-the-tower is critical for 5G. Other 5G technologies are spectrum; software-defined networking and multi-access edge compute, he noted.
OneFiber, Many Benefits
Unifying all different business units, whether wireline or wireless, under OneFiber, and planning fiber needs as a single issue, saves Verizon resources and gives a more customer-centric perspective to the provider's offerings, said CTO Kyle Malady. (Image Source: Verizon 2019 Investor Meeting)
By year-end, Verizon will have added more than 25,000 miles of company-owned fiber outside the ILEC footprint, said Malady.
In October 2018, Verizon shared news it was prepared to deliver 8 Gbit/s speeds to customers nationwide after achieving a production-level NGPON2 network with Calix, Vincent O'Byrne told Broadband World News at the time. Although the network actually hit 940Gbp/s, regulatory issues and forward error correction (FEC) eat up some bandwidth, he said.
"In the future, we're looking at NGPON2 optics for high-link budgets to turn FEC off to deliver true 10-gig," said O'Byrne, referring to the distance between ONT and OLTs. "You can only do that on NGPON2."
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