Furukawa Solutions´ Innovations in pre-terminated networks to assist ISPs in their deployments

Furukawa Solutions´ Ez!Grow and MDU!Grow optimize fiber installation processes and help ISPs reduce network CAPEX. These pre-terminated solutions power the rapid network growth that ISPs demand.

Innovation is not just about making progress, but also about leveraging what already exists and using it more efficiently. Therefore, the solutions Ez!Grow and MDU!Grow from Furukawa offer a pre-terminated solution with unbalanced optical splitters to promote rapid network growth and meet these new demands.

These solutions, combined with the Furukawa Full Service concept, offer more speed and flexibility in activating new users and provide reduced installation and maintenance costs. The aim is for the service provider to strengthen and expand its business by generating satisfaction for its customers and provide quality experiences.

Thus, in the short term, operators that offer a service with the minimum qualityat the (speed) expected by customers and at a reasonable price will have advantages over the competition. Therefore, it is necessaryto use networks where the OPEX, i.e., the costand its maintenance, is minimal and thus a good service at a competitive price. In the medium term it will be necessary to invest in new business models, as the world has already advancedtowards interconnection through technologies such as 5G, IoT, M2M and those that will come in the future.

Europe has surpassed 198 million connected homes, according to a report by FTTH Council Europe. And, as this number increases, the number of customers and zones for fiber deployment begins to shrink. Most of the privileged areas have already been wired and the new regions have less infrastructure and an even lower penetration rate, which can affect the decision-making process on network extensions. On the other hand, these new regions are facing increased interest in fiber networks as more and more users rely on their home connection to work, study and access entertainment. Fiber has become a necessity, as ADSL and coaxial networks are no longer sufficient for these users.

With these new demands, the areas that were previously considered less attractive for fiber deployments are now an opportunity, which will be better taken advantage of by the first supplier to arrive in the area. To win this race, ISPs have to adapt and change their fiber construction strategy to reach new users early and ensure they can deliver network quality and reliability while maintaining business profitability.

Most ISPs already use passive optical networks (PONs) to improve their deployments, taking advantage of passive optical splitters that split the signal between multiple users, reducing the network’s CAPEX. This division is only possible thanks to the high sensitivity of the equipment sensors, which can establish a connection even with large losses throughout the network.

“Like any technology, the PON has also experienced changes in its topology and components. Early deployments focused on small, centralized division relationships with fully spliced networks, but they were time-consuming, labor-intensive and expensive. To overcome these challenges, ISPs began to look for topologies with distributed dividers, larger division ratios, products that enabled faster installation and less prone to human error, better splicing machines, field connectors, and pre-terminated solutions. These advances were key for the fiber to reach where it is today, but they may not be enough to beat the competition, reach new deployment areas and get those new subscribers who crave faster connections” , explains Diego Martín, commercial manager of Furukawa.

We must look for new ways to optimize fiber installation. Many ISPs already use pre-terminated solutions to speed up and reduce errors in the activation process, but the distribution network still needs a large number of fiber cables, splices and depends on labor.

One way to get the same benefits from the activation process in the distribution network would be to also use pre-terminated solutions in multi-fiber scenarios, but this is not always economically feasible.

The splitters deployed in current networks are usually of the balanced type, dividing the incoming signal equally between its outputs and are usually distributed in 2 or 3 levels, but it does not always have to be so. Optical splitters can be unbalanced, meaning that power splitting can be optimized to only get the user what is needed to establish a connection.

Unbalanced optical splitters are not new and at first glance many ISPs may be worried about the losses it brings to the network, but with the current advances in pre-terminated solutions, losses in connections, splicing and activation are controlled.

Leveraging the power imbalance of pre-terminated products allows ISPs to design a more energy-efficient network, which translates into more levels of splitting while using a single pre-terminated fiber cable to interconnect the splitters as a distribution network.

This change in topology allows companies to reassess their areas of expansion, deadlines and user entry. It also allows ISPs to get the most out of their networks and reach new areas faster, while maintaining network quality and offering users high-speed connectivity.