Since the first mobile phones were introduced in 1981, mobile networks have evolved to the point that we can now be connected anywhere and get to see, experience, explore and express ourselves with just a click from the palm of our hand. From 2G, 3G, 4G and Long Term Evolution (LTE) 4G, the maximum capacity that must be supported by each mobile cell has progressively increased in response to an exponential rise in data consumption.
The Full Service Access Network (FSAN) group, a forum that aims to drive the development of gigabit passive optical network (GPON) technology, has laid the ground work for the new generation of equipment, called NGPON2, which promises not only increased bandwidth, but also a much higher level of flexibility for service providers.
As mobile carriers upgrade their networks to Long Term Evolution (LTE) 4G, they will have to embrace a new concept known as fronthaul. This will create a market opportunity for optical transceiver vendors that could be worth nearly a billion dollars over the next five years, according to research from analyst firm LightCounting.
Far below the surface, fibre-optic cables criss-cross Earth’s ocean floors, blind to the conditions – and the risks – in the cold and dark surrounding them. To channel data across the world reliably, these expensive submarine networks are designed to minimise the number of parts that add to bill-of-material costs and could fail. In this austere culture, until recently, the idea of adding sensors to monitor what’s going on down there would have met with scorn.
Interest and demand for gigabit broadband is on the rise with more than a hundred known deployments worldwide. But while the spotlight has mostly shone on North America over the past year, there is growing activity in Europe too.
To answer the question of who deploys gigabit broadband and why, Broadbandtrends recently interviewed 88 broadband operators around the world about their plans for providing and deploying gigabit broadband services. Gigabit services were defined as at least 1Gb/s in one or both directions – download or upload.
When John Guest himself invented the Speedfit push-fit fittings in the 1970s, he had already been running an engineering company for more than a decade – but he can scarcely have imagined that his invention would one day be used in state-of-the-art telecommunications systems.
CableLabs is spearheading efforts to develop a proposal that uses coherent optics to dramatically boost the capacity of hybrid fibre coaxial networks, reports Andy Extance
Systems vendors are using intelligent software to squeeze more performance from optical networks. Pauline Rigby reports on developments at OFC 2017