Openreach's full-fiber network is moving forward with a more ambitious goal, and less Chinese equipment.
Until now, the infrastructure unit of UK telecom giant BT has relied heavily on Huawei, China's biggest maker of network equipment, to extend full-fiber networks to about 2.6 million homes. But in January, UK authorities under US pressure slapped restrictions on the Chinese company as a "high-risk vendor," limiting it to just 35% of properties covered by any one full-fiber network.
The government restrictions are a boon for other equipment makers. Back in July 2018, when the deal with Huawei was first announced, Openreach also revealed that Nokia would begin providing full-fiber equipment in mid-2019. Conscious of the backlash against Huawei, Openreach was subsequently reported to be on the hunt for a third vendor. It finally settled on Adtran, a US company, announcing that partnership just a few days ago.
As UK policymakers debate even tougher limits on Huawei, Nokia and Adtran could now supplant the Chinese firm as Openreach embarks on a far more ambitious rollout than first envisaged. Threatened by rivals and egged on by fiber enthusiasts in government, BT this month said it would target about 20 million properties by the mid-to-late 2020s, provided regulators play fair. Previously, it was aiming for roughly 15 million by the mid-2020s.
It faces an uphill climb, but Viasat is exploring a plan to build 300 low-earth orbit satellites that could deliver low-latency broadband service and qualify for the US Rural Digital Opportunities Fund.
Over the next two years, approximately 60% of service providers (both large and small) will adopt virtualization on a wide scale across their networks, according to the latest survey report from Ovum. Why are providers making these moves? Is there an easy way to start?
Learn how and why service providers are using virtualization to transform their networks. This webinar will look at how providers are leveraging virtualization to create more flexible and agile networks while also providing a better customer experience. Expert speakers from netElastic and Heavy Reading will address the industry drivers for network virtualization, the benefits that can be realized, the challenges to face and the results of virtualization being achieved by providers today.
Key topics will include:
Current network infrastructure and the move to virtualization
Benefits and challenges of network virtualization
How providers can get started
Service provider success stories: the decision to virtualize, the solution, and results