Tech focus: access equipment

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A look at the market for access equipment and some of the products and solutions available

As fibre deployment continues at pace, the market for FTTH access equipment is understandably booming. According to the latest report from Dell’Oro Group, this is going to continue until at least 2026. The firm has even made significant upward revisions to its Broadband Access & Home Networking 5-Year Forecast report, particularly when it comes to sales of passive optical network (PON) equipment for FTTH deployments, cable broadband access equipment and fixed wireless customer-premises equipment (CPE), as service providers look to expand both the reach of their fixed broadband services to customers’ homes, as well as the quality and reliability of those services within their homes.

The report detailed that PON equipment revenue is expected to grow from $9.3bn in 2021, to $13.6bn in 2026, driven largely by XGS-PON deployments in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Caribbean and Latin America regions. 

Meanwhile, revenue for fixed wireless CPE is expected to reach $5.1bn by 2026, led by shipments of 5G sub-6GHz and 5G millimetre wave units. The revenue for cable distributed access equipment (virtual CCAP, remote PHY devices, remote MACPHY Devices and remote OLTs) is expected to reach nearly $1.3m by 2026, as operators ramp up their DOCSIS 4.0 and fibre deployments. 

Jeff Heynen, vice president at Dell’Oro Group, states: ‘We’ve made significant upward revisions to our long-term broadband and home networking forecast. Fibre infrastructure buildouts are resulting in more new subscribers and more CPE with advanced wifi technologies, as service providers look to differentiate their services in increasingly crowded markets.’

 

 

CommScope: Featured product

CommScope FLX OLT portfolio – ultimate flexibility for agile PON deployments

CommScope’s FLX portfolio includes physical and virtual optical line terminals (OLTs) that make it easy for service providers to build and scale next-gen networks. Multiple compact form factors allow OLT installation in a variety of environments. 

Featuring a modern, software-defined networking architecture that uses CommScope’s FLX virtual OLT (vOLT), this portfolio works equally well in disaggregated and traditional aggregated models.

  • Open, standards-based and no vendor-proprietary lock-in

  • Disaggregated or centralised architectures with ease of transitioning as needs evolve 

  • Cloud-native with on-site or hosted deployment

  • Multi-vendor interoperability

  • Ease of future technologies integration: BNG, wireless backhaul and other services

CommScope FLX OLT shelf, 1RU 19 inches rack mounted, hardened, multi-protocol enabling virtual control management 10G XPON deployment strategies with GPON, XGS PON and Combo capability in remote facilities, hubs and cabinets in distributed architectures.

www.commscope.com

 

Commercial products

Vendors of OLT equipment include Adtran, which, via its Combo PON solution, offers service providers an efficient way to support both GPON and next-generation XGS-PON technologies simultaneously over a common optical distribution network (ODN), enabling XGS-PON service migration with no disruption to services. It is available across the company’s OLT portfolio, whether it is the disaggregated SDX 6000 series, integrated Total Access 5000 family of 10G fibre access platforms, or its low density remote OLTs.

Broadcom offers an end-to-end PON solution that includes OLT MACs, ONUs and integrated home gateways. Support is available for multiple PON protocols on a single silicon architecture, delivering software development leverage to system vendors. Solutions below include products optimised to deliver the industry’s latest requirements, including XGS-PON and NGPON2 standards.

CommScope provides a range of products for distributed access architecture (DAA), including remote PHY solutions and switches. The company more recently released its Cloud-to-Edge Next-Gen PON suite, consisting of four components: the FLX PON OLT and ONU portfolio, ServAssure domain management and ServAssure NXT performance management software, fibre connectivity solutions, and engineering and project management services. It is designed to facilitate the global growth in FTTP deployments.

Calix’s Intelligent Access Edge suite of products, powered by the Axos platform, is designed to aid 10G PON deployments. Products include the GigaPoint ONT and AXOS E7-2 intelligent modular system line cards. The E7-2 XG801 XGS-PON/GPON line card enables 100G deployments in temperature-hardened environments, with two 100G transport uplinks over IP/Ethernet-based networks. It provides eight XGS-PON/GPON OLT ports and four additional 10GE SFP+ sockets for point-to-point Ethernet connections or 10G transport.

The Catalyst PON Series from Cisco offers various OLT and ONT options for different deployment needs. Catalyst PON Series switches offer a competitive fibre-based network solution. CGP-OLT products are compact and high-density network aggregation devices, meeting the requirements of ITU-T G.984 and relative GPON standards, with high access capacity, reliability and powerful security function.

DZS’s Velocity Broadband Connectivity solutions range is designed to accelerate and simplify the network-wide deployment of future-proof, next-generation multi-gigabit services over fibre. The solutions are designed to be used with any topology, service, network location and physical media. OLTs are complemented by a line of fibre-fed G.fast DPUs to support the delivery of multigigabit services to those subscribers for which copper is still the only practically viable access network physical media.

Excel Networking’s Enbeam PON solution was launched in 2018 to meet growing demand in the multi dwelling unit (MDU) space for high-density, high-speed fibre cabling and associated splitter and distribution systems. In 2020, the range was extended further with the launch of cables, ducts and distribution enclosures intended to service the rapidly expanding FTTx market.

Fujikura offers complete passive solutions for FTTH applications. This includes cable, closures, termination boxes, field connectivity solutions, splitters and remote fibre monitoring equipment.

HellermannTyton is established in the provision of network infrastructure solutions, with a range of high-performance structured cabling products. The product range includes a number of different options for Category 6A, Category 6 and Category 5e systems, as well as its pre-terminated RapidNet system. The company has a wide range of fibre closures and fibre management options, including the Integrated Routing System.

Huawei provides a range of passive, all-optical network access solutions, including the OptiXaccess EA5801E-GP16 – a box-shaped OLT with GPON access, supporting both passive optical LAN (POL) and FTTH solutions. It carries all services over a single fibre network. Also available is the SmartAX EA5800 – a full-service distributed OLT that provides GPON, XG-PON, XGS-PON, GE and 10 GE access and supports multiple network solutions, including FTTO, FTTM and FTTH.

Iskratel’s broadband solutions are designed to address all aspects of the FTTH equation. Its flagship Lumia OLTs and MSANs are applicable to any service-delivery or business model, and equip forward-looking operators with prolonged life cycle and the lowest five-year TCO. The Innbox CPE family delivers multi-gigabit connectivity in single- or multi-operator environments, and reduces overall operator opex. 

Nokia has a wide range of PON solutions, including its 25G PON offering, based on the Quillion chipset. It co-exists with current GPON and XGS-PON technologies on the same PON, so even the existing OLT and line card hardware could be used. Products include the ISAM & Lightspan FX high-density, high-capacity fibre platform for next generation access, and the Lightspan MF high-density, software defined assess node for distributed deployments.

Available from Optokon is a series of GPON OLTs. Designed to be particularly suited to small village or apartment applications, the OLTs have up to 8 PON ports, 1U case and hot-swappable redundant power units. Remote management is provided via simple network management protocol and command line interface.

The Radisys series of OLTs support Combo PON, G-PON and XGS-PON with software based on VOLTHA/SEBA reference architecture. Open APIs that use standard interfaces for all management functions will help ease the transition to an SDN-controlled environment. The OLTs leverage virtual hardware abstraction for greater agility, programmability, increased automation, faster product innovation cycles and deeper network visibility.

Sterlite Tech (STL) provides an end-to-end solution for FTTX access, thanks to its FTTx Mantra. It is designed to empower CSPs to quickly roll out FTTx networks at massive scale, near-zero response time, great agility and at optimised costs. It integrates Sterlite Tech’s silicon-to-software capabilities across programmable networks, optical communication products, network design services and rollouts, and software solutions.

ZTE’s Light PON solution enables flexible, economical and efficient FTTx network construction. It is designed as an end-to-end solution for FTTx network construction and includes a series of small-capacity OLTs, Combo PON, outdoor cabinets, pre-connectorised ODN and intelligent OAM.