Publicly traded Australian wholesale operator OptiComm is taking on government-owned NBN Co.'s national network in a very targeted market -- single-family homes, apartments and business buildings in new smart cities -- by planning for future needs based on today's use cases.
The FTTP-only provider -- which went public on Aug. 22, 2019 -- uses an open access, wholesale-only strategy to deliver fixed-line, last-mile access to commercial broadband operators. So far this year, OptiComm has passed 102,000 lots and turned on 75,000 active connections, said Chief Technology Officer Stephen Davies during last month's ADTRAN Connect event.
Connected Communities, Hungry Consumers
Data usage among OptiComm customers is growing 40% annually compared with Australia's national average of 33%, said Stephen Davies, CTO at the publicly traded wholesaler.
Today, OptiComm uses a 32-port GPON network to support each connected community's residential, business and government users and public spaces and services, such as public WiFi, parks and electronic-vehicle chargers, he said. The operator's infrastructure supports traditional residential, business and municipal use cases, as well as new and emerging IoT solutions and services. These data-intensive, symmetric-demanding offerings include sensor-equipped garbage pails that know when bins are getting full and compact trash; sprinklers that sense when it's rained to avoid unnecessary watering and lights kitted out with motion sensors that go on when they recognize someone is in the area, he said.
"It's all running on a single, unified network. We're going to get a long way to consuming all our GPON capacity in the next seven to ten years, but it's all these other services we're putting on the network at the same time that's driving us to move to the 10-gigabit capacity," said Davies. "GPON's been out there for the past 12 years. It has been fantastically successful for telecommunications companies like [us], figuring out what to do for affordable broadband for residential type applications. What we see is within the next five years we have to go to 10 gigabit GPON because the capacity won't be there."
Adding closed-circuit TV, virtual classrooms, hospitals and telemedicine, as well as business buildings and smart homes, with many connecting to cloud-based solutions such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure or Office 365, will only expedite operators' adoption of 10G-PON, he noted. In fact, OptiComm already is developing projects for XGS-PON technology, said Davies.
It Takes a Big Broadband Pipe to Build a City
This Hallmark Horizon style home is one of many the smart community of Yarrabilba offers as part of its planned metropolis, which one day expects to add big-box stores, higher-ed facilities and a hospital to its current list of facilities.
(Image source: Yarrabilba)
"Some of these projects we're developing, [go] for 15 years; there's no point putting it on GPON today because we know it's not going to last there. We need to plan now to build for next year's PON today," he said. "Whilst we don't need it right now, we know that in a few years bandwidth demand and capacity is going to be there on applications we know exist today -- let alone what's coming."
Communities such as Yarrabilba include multiple home models for sale and rent, as well as vacant lots for people to buy. This planned community features primary-schools, parks and other facilities, with plans to add a high school, higher-ed offerings and big-box retailers, along with other services in the future, according to LendLease, the company behind this and other smart communities in Australia.
On Jan. 23, Broadband World News hosts a Calix-sponsored webinar that explores several ways CSPs can enhance customer experience and find new business opportunities to avoid devolving into a speed race where nobody wins, not even the customer.
As the pool of savvy, fiber-rich operators across the US rural and regional landscape wanes, the financial community will grow even more interested in acquiring or investing in them, a CoBank report says.
It wasn't long ago that TV was ranked by subscribers as the most important service in the bundle provided by their communications service provider (CSP). Recent research indicates that for nearly three quarters of subscribers, broadband is now the most important service. Broadcast TV is the most important service to only 15% of North American consumers, replaced by OTT video streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+. In addition, many different competitors are moving aggressively to stake a claim in consumers' homes.
In 2020, CSPs need to fight back by transforming their business models, which are becoming more reliant on a single source of revenue: fixed broadband services.
This webinar will focus on helping CSPs transform their business models by placing a firm focus on delivering a sensational subscriber experience and by offering compelling new services that generate value for subscribers. These actions will reinforce the CSP's strategic position in the home network and position themselves for growth in the next decade.
Key topics include:
Being the first to market with WiFi 6 technology, in response to consumer purchases of new devices over the holidays;
Having the insights needed to proactively resolve issues, often before your subscribers even know that there are issues;
Providing help desk agents with the visibility they need to resolve common subscriber issues more quickly;
Delivering a mobile app, in response to consumer demands for the ability to do some things themselves, rather than having to call technical support; and
Addressing consumer concerns around device security, privacy and control with enhanced security and parental controls.
In this insightful Light Reading radio show, Kurt Raaflaub, Head of Strategic Solutions Marketing, will outline the key service provider challenges, deployment considerations, next-gen Gigabit technologies, and service models to win market share in the rapidly growing MDU market.