The optical networking industry faces challenges related to bandwidth, costs and how to deliver more for less in order to serve growing demand for data, multiple-device connectivity and speed. Internet-based traffic, cloud services and TV-quality video streaming drive bandwidth growth of about 50% annually -- and pundits predict that demand will swell when 5G nears the horizon.
Service providers must meet this demand. But their budgets are impacted by a slew of factors such as price-sensitive offerings from competitors and OTT providers; investments in new technologies and infrastructure and the industry's overall emphasis on enhancing customer experience.
Amongst all challenges, the most significant has been "how we can serve this demand but at a cost that allows us to deliver compelling and competitive products and services to our customers," Kevin Smith, Transmission Futures and Innovation at BT, told Broadband World News earlier this year.
To accomplish this, network operators must consider technology options that deliver not only improved speed, but also empower a fundamental shift in the underlying optical fiber transmission infrastructure's capacity efficiency, he said.
"High-speed optical transmission technologies and networks are hugely fundamental to increasing the fiber optic network capacity of our networks which underpin all network services and applications," said Smith.
Ahead of this year’s NGON & DCI Europe in Nice, Smith discussed some of the year's key advances and innovations in terabit optical technology, and shared a glimpse into his upcoming talk at NGON.
"On the line side of optical transmission, coherent optical technology has continued to develop at a dramatic pace to meet these challenges, with coherent 100G as the current de facto standard for network deployment, increasingly moving to 200G and even to 400G and beyond as the technology matures," said Smith. "On the client side, Ethernet speeds have also increased dramatically -- from 10GbE, to 40GbE and 100GbE."
In December 2017, IEEE ratified a new Ethernet standard for both 200Gb/s and 400Gb/s, further supporting continued bandwidth growth.
"The new IEEE 802.3bs standard, together with the development of a new breed of emerging pluggable optical transceivers, brings us closer to the practical realization of even higher capacity network infrastructures supporting Ethernet beyond 100GbE," Smith noted.
Building on these industry-wide achievements, it is now vital for network operators to continue driving emerging technologies forward, he said. It is key to understand their practical viability in real-world and operational environments and critical to ensure the underlying optical transmission infrastructure fits its purpose and continues to meet future bandwidth and customer demands, added Smith.
During his presentation, Smith plans to address BT’s recent experiences with and trials of advanced high-speed flexible 200G and 400G coherent optical technologies and optical super-channel transport, plus demonstrations of new 400GbE optical transmission, he said.
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.