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Huawei Launches AirPON to Enhance Mobile Operators’ FMC Success
September 10, 2020 News

 

Traditionally, it takes up to six months for mobile operators to set-up a Fibre to the Home (FTTH) network construction, as Right of Way (ROW) acquisition sometimes get stalled because of strict permits, laying down of optical cables require many personnel and large-scale investment in network infrastructure is needed, among other things.

To address these challenges, Huawei introduced the AirPON solution, which enables operators to build a fixed and mobile-merged network that improves connections for end-users by reusing mobile base station resources.

In a recent virtual media briefing, Gary Lu, President of Network Marketing & Solution Sales Department, Huawei, spoke about some of the changes in today’s digital era, which requires users to have a faster and more stable network connection – including work-from-home setup and virtual entertainment.

“Broadband will become a necessity for people to work, live and shop in the next three to four years. The future direction clearly tells us that we need to build a strong fibre network to support the sustainable development of new services”, said Gary.

According to Gary, there are two things which need to be done in order to achieve this. First, we need to build for future-oriented fibre networks, since this network is a base carrier of all services. Second, operators need to actively participate in the exploration of diversified solutions to bring new experiences to end-users.

AirPON solution can meet these requirements, which is a new way to construct FTTH networks. “The AirPON solution shortens the optical cables between Optical Line Terminals (OLTs) and users from over 3km to below 300m. It greatly improves the efficiency of optical cable deployment and reduces the ROI period to less than 3 years. With it, operators can reap benefits faster than when building full-fibre access networks”, explained Gary.

To follow up the discussion, Charles Qiu, Vice Director of Access Network Marketing & Solution Sales Dept, Huawei presented the use cases AirPON can provide, citing major benefits in the full-service grid division and valuable area identification, network planning and design and TCO estimation. Charles also mentioned four cutting-edge technologies supporting precise planning of the AirPON – namely automatic grid division, high-value region identification, high-value site choice and automatic calculation of optimal routes.

Peter Lam, MD of Engineering, HKT then spoke about how the AirPON helped Hong Kong Telecommunications in their network solutions, citing its benefit in the IPTV, broadband, multimedia phone and mobile, which he calls the “quadruple play”. Peter Lam added that “HKT would like to replicate the solution to village areas or low rise buildings in urban areas to extend our ultra-broadband coverage. AirPON allows the installation of PON equipment on rooftops, which can be suitable for PON deployment in low rise old buildings in HK”.

In the Philippines, AirPON is also being adopted by a leading mobile operator, Globe Telecommunications, who are leveraging the technology for its mobile sites and fibre access network construction. “Huawei’s AirPON solution helps us to efficiently roll out FTTH networks with simple ROW permitting and site acquisition and enables us to quickly provision fibre broadband services”, said Joel Agustin, SVP of Project Delivery & Project Governance, Globe Philippines.

Globe is now enabling FTTH to the Philippines, bringing higher speed and higher average revenue per user. AirPON greatly helps Globe for their FTTH solutions, as government permits in the country sometimes take more than six months to process, not to mention the cost of infrastructure.

Huawei’s AirPON solution has the following advantages:

  • Lower TCO due to a shorter ODN distance.
  • Zero site acquisition and reused mobile sites, fibre and power supply.
  • Zero fibre splicing and DQ ODN for E2E pre-connection.
  • Zero configuration and OLT/ONT plug-and-play.
  • Building a 10G PON-ready network.

For further information on the technology, the following is the full press release of Huawei’s announcement:

Huawei Announces Commercial Release of AirPON Solution for Agile FMC Access

Together with HKT Hong Kong and Globe Philippines, Huawei held an online commercial release conference on Monday to launch the AirPON solution and share its innovative applications. This solution reuses existing wireless sites to build full-fibre access networks for mobile operators quickly and at a low cost.

As mobile operators transform from mobile to full-service operations, they face huge challenges in FTTH network construction. Traditionally, operators had to deploy centralized OLTs in central office equipment rooms and lay out massive optical cables to reach users. This required large-scale initial investment and the resolution of complex problems such as ROW acquisition. As a result, network construction has always been time-consuming, expensive, while services have been slow to provision.

Huawei AirPON solution specifically addresses these challenges. “The AirPON solution shortens the optical cables between OLTs and users from over 3 km to below 300 m, greatly improves the efficiency of optical cable deployment, and reduces the ROI period to less than 3 years. With it, operators can reap benefits faster when building full-fibre access networks,” said Gary Lu, President of Huawei Network Marketing & Solution Sales Department.

“HKT would like to replicate the solution to village area or low rise building in urban area to extend our Ultra Broadband coverage. AirPON allows installation of PON equipment on roof top which can be suitable for PON deployment in low rise old buildings in HK,” said Peter Lam, Managing Director of HKT Engineering Dept Hong Kong.

“Huawei’s AirPON solution helps us to efficiently roll out FTTH networks with simple ROW permitting and site acquisition and enables us to quickly provision fibre broadband services,” said Joel Agustin, Vice President of Globe Philippines.

Following Huawei’s first release of the AirPON solution in London in February 2020, 45 operators around the world adopted it in network construction. This solution consists of Huawei’s OptiXaccess series Blade OLTs, Digital QuickODN (DQ ODN), and OptiXstar series eAI ONTs. It reuses existing mobile sites to build full-fibre access networks and has the following benefits:

  • Zero site acquisition: Outdoor blade OLTs can be installed on existing mobile pole or tower sites to share the wireless backhaul network for upstream transmission. Sites can be selected quickly and accurately, speeding up projects by three months.
  • Zero fibre splicing: The DQ ODN network features digital management, pre-connection technology, and parallel construction without fibre splicing. Regular technicians can quickly master full-fibre access network installation and maintenance. Network construction is 70% more efficient and ODN sunk cost is 20% lower.
  • Zero frame freezing: The eAI ONT intelligently identifies service types and uses Wi-Fi 6 slicing technology to provide dedicated channels for VIP services, such as online education and gaming. Operators can now monetise on user experience, earning an extra ARPU of US$10.

Fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) is the common trend, and fixed networks are the cornerstone of full-service operations. In the meanwhile, full-fibre access network construction is ramping up around the world. As such, Huawei will continue to innovate in full-fibre access technologies and deliver sustainable and evolvable solutions to help operators achieve business successes.

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