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FYUZ 2022: Telecom Infra Project defines new approach to building fixed access networks

Global community designed to drive infrastructure services to advance global connectivity establishes Open Fixed Access Networks sub-group – a collaboration between major industry operators to address the challenges of building and scaling access networks

The Telecom Infra Project (TIP) Fixed Broadband Project Group has established the Open Fixed Access Networks sub-group, a collaboration between major industry players including Telefónica, TIM and Vodafone.

The TIP initiative is focused on accelerating the pace of innovation in the telecom industry worldwide, and aims to accelerate the pace of innovation in the telecom industry by designing, building and deploying technologies that are more flexible and efficient. The organisation believes today’s communications providers face a key challenge: demands on their networks continue to rise despite a persistent connectivity gap.

It adds that operators need to extend their networks to connect more people, as well as upgrade their networks to support increasing traffic.

Announced on the first day of the FYUZ 2022 mobile technology event, the new sub-group will look to address the specific challenges that TIP regards as being the most meaningful when building and scaling access networks to meet consumer demands.

The group’s work will focus on improving interoperability and diversity in the access network, accelerating innovation through the modernisation of operations and deployment architectures, and boosting capacity in the last mile through transition from GPON to XGS-PON optical network technology.

The objective for this work is to drive the deployment of open, disaggregated and interoperable access technologies. These technologies will go towards a number of goals, such as: interoperability between multiple supplier services, focusing on interworking between OLT and ONT/ONU, as well as integration with SDN controllers; disaggregation of hardware and software, removing supplier lock-in and enabling operators to “mix and match” supplier offerings based on evolving operational needs; and improved operating efficiencies, enabling new operating paradigms, delivered using more effective and efficient devices, and implemented using new technical architectures.

The group has now released an Open fixed access networks use case document, which describes the objectives and motivations for this new area of work, the most common deployment models adopted by operators today and the core characteristics of services that can be deployed to address these objectives.

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Operators involved in the project will now move to develop the technical requirements for their first use case – a “pizza box” OLT that can be deployed in a local exchange environment. They expect to issue an RFI to establish the technical capability and readiness of suppliers to deliver such a service later in 2022, with test and validation of the most suitable offerings to follow.

“The disaggregation of OLTs represents a valuable opportunity to broaden the telecoms supply chain, which we’ve seen has become more important than ever during recent times,” said Paolo Pellegrino, access innovation project manager at TIM.

“[We are] excited about the opportunities to work with a new generation of hardware and software suppliers who can bring innovative solutions that will help us build more cost-effective and efficient networks.”

Jose Torrijos Gijon, technology expert at Telefónica GCTIO, added: “We fully support this new project as the next step towards the commercialisation and deployment of technologies based on robust and mature industry standards.

“Ultimately, we believe the Open Fixed Access Networks project will play a critical role in the adoption of new technologies and new services as we prepare for the next stage of evolution in our access networks.”

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