What is Fiber Densification?
By Helen Xenos – The term “network densification” is being used more often in relation to wireless network deployments, and more recently, “fiber densification” has become a hot a topic of discussion. So, what exactly is densification?
Densification simply describes the goal or end state of supporting more capacity within the same area or footprint. It is borne from the need of network providers to not only keep up with the increase in bandwidth demand they are seeing, but also grow their competitive edge in delivering a better end user experience for their customers.
Cable or Multi-Service Operators (MSOs) are undergoing a multi-year upgrade of their Hybrid Fiber Coax (HFC) access infrastructure. To provide a better quality of experience to subscribers, they are delivering higher capacity to smaller groups of homes and pushing fiber closer to the edge of the network.
HFC Fiber nodes, which on average service 500 homes per node, are being replaced with 10 to 12 Digital Fiber nodes. These nodes will now service 40 to 64 homes, be pushed deeper into the access, and increase per-user capacity.
An incredible amount of digital fiber nodes are expected to be deployed in the next few years, from tens to hundreds of thousands globally in 2018 and 2019. Fiber densification, the ability to pack as much capacity as possible over the limited fiber resources available, is of critical importance to achieve business objectives.
Finally, the simplest example of fiber densification is the hyperscale data center interconnect application. Global content providers are deploying huge amounts of fiber between massive data centers to maintain their aggressive pace of innovation and keep up with the doubling of bandwidth they are seeing on a yearly basis. more>
Posted in Broadband, Economic development, Economy, Net, Product, Technology
Tagged Broadband, Business improvement, Ciena, Densification, Fiber optics, Internet
Densifying the Network, One Small Cell at a Time
By Wayne Hickey – Mobile network usage is growing at an astounding rate of 42% CAGR, as data rates rise driven by an insatiable customer appetite for video, gaming, social media, and live streaming. With the omnipresence of smartphone technology, advancement towards 5G, and mobile data as the major use cases – MNOs (Mobile Network Operators) struggle to maintain with growing customer demands.
There are three primary ways that MNOs can add capacity to their wireless network:
- Buy more spectrum
- Make spectrum utilization more efficient by optimizing spectral efficiency
- Densify the network, by adding more cell sites, while reusing available spectrum
A mobile network must be designed to physically reach the intended number of subscribers and adapt to the changing capacity needs of those subscribers. To do so, MNOs segment their networks by base station coverage by using macro cells and small cells (ex. micro cells, pico cells, nano cells, femtocells, and even WiFi cells, or hotspots).
Macro cells cover large geographic areas while the various types of small cells cover much smaller and varied geographic areas serving fewer end-users, both indoor and outdoor.
Macro cell sites use high powered radios, generally for large coverage areas. Small cells use much lower power radios, require less space, and increase data capacity by proliferation or densification of the network. Densification of the network means deploying lots of small cells to enable more overall users, lower latency, better mobile device battery life, and expanded coverage. The approach is to basically reuse spectrum over and over again, by keeping the coverage area small, and managing the interference between cells using a variety of techniques. more>
Posted in Broadband, Business, Communication industry, Economy, Net, Telecom industry, VIDEO
Tagged Broadband, Business improvement, Ciena, Internet, Macro cells, Small cells, Technology, Wireless
Why Adaptive is the biggest story in networking
By Joe Cumello – Next-gen, intelligent, flexible, automated, agile, optimized, programmable, elastic.
Our industry has been using these words for years to describe the end game for networks. With Ciena’s recent 25-year anniversary, we’ve been spending quite a bit of time looking back at the early days – and it seems like the entire industry has been using these aspirational network descriptions for as long as there have been networks.
Maybe 2018 is the year “aspirational” starts to become “actuality.”
Like no other time in our industry’s history, a collection of technologies and advancements is bringing the long-desired goal of a more automated network closer to reality.
Network operators do need greater automation to cope with the harsh realities of today’s environment. But “full automation,” or so-called “autonomous networking,” isn’t the complete answer they are seeking, because it’s now clear that today’s environment isn’t the same one they will face tomorrow. more>
Posted in Broadband, Business, Communication industry, Economic development, Economy, Education, Net, Technology, Telecom industry
Tagged Adaptive Network, Broadband, Business improvement, Ciena, Internet, Technology
Powering Cable’s Future with Distributed Access
By Wayne Hickey – Legacy Hybrid Fiber Coax (HFC) networks, recently heralded as a blessing, are now stressed to keep up with demand; most head-ends and hubs have become saturated with racks and racks of Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP) equipment. Analog infrastructure is expensive to operate, maintain, and simply won’t scale to future demands.
While HFC has been around for 20+ years, most traditional cable networks of today are based on Centralized Access Architecture (CAA), where the access network consists of a combination of analog optical and coaxial Radio Frequency (RF) technologies, and the core network (head-ends and hubs) consist of Cable Modem Termination Equipment (CMTS) and Edge Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (EQAM) equipment. EQAM helps deliver broadcast and narrowcast video, and CMTS provides broadband services.
In response to the afore mentioned market forces, cable operators are strategically extending fiber to digital fiber nodes, in a Distributed Access Architecture (DAA). This involves removing coaxial RF active devices like amplifiers and power inserters, and adding more digital fiber nodes. more>
Posted in Broadband, Communication industry, Economy, Education, History, Net, Technology
Tagged Broadband, Business improvement, Ciena, DAA, Distributed Access Architecture, Internet, Technology
Posted in Broadband, Business, Communication industry, Economic development, Economy, Net, Technology
Tagged Broadband, Business improvement, Ciena, Data center, Internet, Super regions, Technology
Standards Update: 200GbE, 400GbE and Beyond with Pete Anslow – “Live” from Geneva
By Helen Xenos, Pete Anslow – IEEE 802.3bs defines the technical specifications to support MAC or Ethernet data rates of 200Gb/s and 400Gb/s – double and four times the capacity of Ethernet rates today – that can operate at distances to meet the requirements for most applications. The objective of the project is to define specifications that will enable multi-vendor interop, using appropriate technologies that will meet the performance and cost points required by the industry. Cost will be a function of volume and yield of components, so we aim to use existing components and technologies that can be supplied by multiple vendors.
The IEEE 802.3bs project defines physical layer specifications for operation over 100m (400GBASE-SR16), 500m (200GBASE-DR4 and 400GBASE-DR4), 2km (200GBASE-FR4 and 400GBASE-FR8), and 10km (200GBASE-LR4 and 400GBASE-LR8) distances.
The most popular formats to meet the majority of core router to transport distance requirements are the 2km and 10km devices.
While the per lane technology for 100GbE used 25Gbps NRZ signaling, we are now using PAM4 signaling for most of the new electrical and optical interface specifications. PAM4 stands for Pulse Amplitude Modulation with the “4” indicating 4 levels of modulation. 50G PAM4 requires a more sophisticated receiver design but allows for the doubling of capacity per lane while reusing existing high volume, reliable electro-optics. The signal operates at a symbol rate of 25GBaud (speed of the electro-optics), but carries 2 bits per symbol, thus doubling the capacity (50G per lane). more>
Retail Digitization… Friend or Foe?
By Brian Lavallée – The retail industry is one of the most competitive industries today, placing enormous pressure on the retailers who are continually striving to reinvent, reinvigorate, and rejuvenate their position with buyers, who are more informed than ever due to readily available online resources, long before they enter a brick and mortar store.
The same assets that consumers use to become increasingly informed can and are also being leveraged by retailers to best become the store of choice to sell their products – networks and data analytics.
The wealth of readily available and free online resources allows customers to perform advanced reconnaissance by researching product specifications, product field performance, as well as comparative product analysis pricing, performance, warranty, and user experience. This means that consumers are extremely informed before they purchase a product and often more so than the salesperson.
In short, the digital transformation has forever reshaped customer behavior and the shopping experience, which means retailers must change to this new shopping environment often by leveraging the very same tools that created the shopping ninja – networks and analytics – which allow retailers to create the required digital shopping experience that today’s consumers want and need. more>
Posted in Broadband, Business, Communication industry, Economy, Net, Product, Technology
Tagged analytics, Broadband, Business improvement, Ciena, Digitization, Retail
Year in Review: Ciena’s Top 8 Announcements of 2017
By Bo Gowan – We started off the year in January with a new member of our Blue Planet family: Blue Planet Analytics. Built for the new world of Big Data, Blue Planet Analytics generates deep network insights to help network operators make smarter, data-driven business decisions.
Paired with Blue Planet’s orchestration and policy systems, Blue Planet Analytics helps operators to continue on the path to a more autonomous network and is a strategic evolution of Ciena’s Blue Planet software suite.
Following shortly after our Blue Planet Analytics news was the unveiling of a much anticipated Blue Planet offering: Manage, Control and Plan (MCP).
MCP brings together all aspects of network operations within a single, unified interface, providing customers real-time software control and advanced visualization across Ciena’s packet and packet optical portfolios. For our existing packet and optical customers, Blue Planet MCP is a new way of managing their network. more>
Posted in Broadband, Communication industry, Economy, Education, Net, Product, Science, Technology, Telecom industry
Tagged Blue Planet, Broadband, Ciena, Internet, Net evolution, Technology
Ethernet Adventures: Making Progress with an Old Friend – Good ol’ Ethernet
By Chris Sweetapple – This was not his only network problem. The traditional Local Area Network (LAN) connections were plagued by latency and jitter. Users simply would NOT use underperforming applications or services.
To our hero, this is not good enough. His business’ users have high expectations. They want connectivity options and performance that are reliable, secure, on-demand and cost-effective. Our hero knows that the network can play a very valuable role. Only the network can manage the quality of the connection and ensure optimal end-user experience for everything else. This makes the network more important than ever – and a differentiator for the business; but only if it can provide the best possible assurance for each service by ensuring latency, security and speed.
With his friend, advanced business Ethernet, our hero can mitigate legacy network complexities, sidestep the public internet and increase network performance. He can also maintain links to traditional networks and applications while keeping pace with fluctuating usage demands. Our hero can now modernize his network. He can move toward next-generation operations and embrace hybrid capabilities for a variety of uses. Connections can be increased from 1G to 10G and higher – up to 100G to connect to data centers or transfer massive files like MRI scans, uncompressed video, design prototypes, and so on. more>
By John Hawkins – 100G. One hundred billion bits per second. Let that sink in for a minute.
You may have seen broadband offers from your local phone, cable, or wireless operator for 1 Gb/s services. But 100 Gb/s? Nice as it sounds, who needs it? Well, you’d be surprised.
As it turns out, 100GbE service is in demand for several reasons. Not in your residential context, mind you, but in a growing number of enterprise and operator scenarios – and it’s starting to get noticed. Current industry projections estimate that almost $7B (US) worth of 100G Ethernet services will sell this year, and will approach $20B by 2020.
We have been experiencing continued growth in bandwidth consumption for years. No surprise there. Shipments for 1GbE ports are still the sweet spot and the volume leader, while 10GbE ports are gaining ground according to Ovum. The trend is driven primarily by the growth in enterprise/residential service aggregation, mobile network buildouts, and data center interconnect. more>
Posted in Broadband, Communication industry, Economic development, Economy, History, Product, Science, Technology, Telecom industry
Tagged 100GbE, bandwidth, Broadband, Ciena, Ethernet, Fiber optics, Internet, Technology