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FTTH Still Has Room For Development In The Future. 5G Will Not Replace The Home Fiber Connection From ZKTEL

- Jun 22, 2018 -

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At the “China Optical Network Symposium China FTTH Forum” held today, Mr. Mao Qian, the Standing Committee of the Communications Science and Technology Committee of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Honorary Director of the Optical Communication Committee of the China Communications Academy, and former Deputy Dean and Chief Engineer of the Wuhan Institute of Posts and Telecommunications, said that FTTH is Rapid growth has entered a period of steady development and there is still room for development in the future. In particular, he stressed that 5G accelerated commercialization is an opportunity and a challenge for FTTH, and 5G will not replace the home fiber connection.


FTTH has become the main theme of global cable broadband access


Data shows that in 2017, there were 870 million fixed broadband subscribers worldwide, and 73% of global FTTx subscribers and 48% of fixed broadband subscribers are located in the Asia-Pacific region. Irving predicts that global FTTP users will exceed 550 million by 2021.


From the perspective of the development of international Internet users, with a total population of 7.6 billion in the world today, the total number of Internet users in the world has reached 4.021 billion, of which 68% of Internet users use the mobile Internet; data show that the average time for Internet users worldwide has reached the Internet 6 hours/day, this means that when we are awake, at least a third of our time is spent online.


“It can be said that FTTH has become the main melody of global cable broadband access,” Mao Qian pointed out. The “Strategic China of Broadband” released in 2013 made China a big FTTH country. At present, China’s FTTH has reached 85.6% of home broadband users. Learning and living provide good conditions.


"FTTH has entered a period of stable development from rapid growth, but there is still room for development." Mao Qian believes that "FTTH will continue to face many opportunities, but it will also face more challenges.


5G Accelerate Commercialization is Opportunity and Challenge for FTTH


On April 8th, at the “Work Conference of the National Electronic Information Industry in Shenzhen in 2018”, Qiao Yueshan, deputy director of the Electronic Information Department of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology pointed out that China will launch 5G IF deployment and system commercialization in 2019, which also means that the original plan was 2020. The commercial plan for the year was one year ahead of schedule.


With the development of 5G, many people in the industry began to question whether 5G's strong capabilities could mean that it could eventually replace optical fiber; whether 5G's large-scale construction would reduce FTTH investment; others also speculated that (such as Verizon) 5G may replace FTTH. Or WTTH replaces FTTH.


The Optical Broadband Association believes that FTTH is still the best way to meet various bandwidth requirements in the long run.


In this regard, Mao Qian also holds the same view, he said that 5G will not replace the root of the home fiber connection lies in the spectrum itself, millimeter wave signals can not penetrate the outer wall, can not reach the home. Therefore, deploying an FTTH network that can reach home-internal ONTs, Wi-Fi provides the ultimate connection to devices in the home and is likely to continue to dominate. The implementation of Small Cell coverage after the 5G signal is transmitted through the fiber to the home is also an optional solution.


New Generation Basic Information Infrastructure Engineer FTTH Development Opportunities


The "Notice on Organizing and Implementing the Next-Generation Information Infrastructure Construction Project in 2018" of the General Office of the National Development and Reform Commission calls for accelerating the implementation of the "Broadband China" strategy and focusing on supporting the "100 Mega Village" demonstration and supporting support projects.


The indicator requires that no less than 20 counties (regions, cities) be implemented in the region; the FTTH should be used to develop the intervention network; the proportion of the total bandwidth involved in the FTTH port should not be less than 60%; and more than 90% of the broadband users should have an access capability of more than 100Mbps. More than 50% of rural broadband users have opened more than 50 Mbps rate services.


Mao Qian pointed out that according to the "broadband China" strategy, by 2020, basic broadband network infrastructure covering urban and rural areas, convenient services, high-speed unimpeded, and advanced technology will be basically established. The number of fixed broadband subscribers reached 400 million, household penetration rate reached 70%, and fiber optic networks covered urban households. At present, it has reached 366 million households and there is still some space for the continued development of optical fiber broadband.


Operator competition is an opportunity for FTTH development


"Rational competition is the driving force for the development of a market economy." Mao Qian pointed out that from the current fierce competition among operators, it is still in a more reasonable and rational category.


The data shows that at the end of 2017, China Telecom’s fixed-line broadband subscribers reached 133 million, an increase of 8.5%, China Mobile reached 112 million, and the number of subscribers throughout the year exceeded 35.06 million; China Unicom’s fixed-line broadband subscribers increased by 1,303,000, reaching 7653.9 Ten thousand households.


According to the existing plans of the three major operators, the competition of fixed networks in 2018 will be even more severe. In 2018, China Mobile’s broadband subscriber number is expected to reach 130 million; China Telecom’s 2018 target broadband subscribers will increase by 25%, and China Unicom will consider how to ensure that subscribers are not lost and launch Wangka broadband to attract subscribers.


XDSL user light change is an opportunity for FTTH development


The data shows that there are still 11.204 million xDSL users in China by the end of 2017. Mao Qian believes that XDSL users' light change is another big opportunity for FTTH development. xDSL users have no basis for copper wire and will gradually switch to FTTH.


On December 21, 2017, China Telecom’s last TDM program-controlled switching bureau retired from the network, marking China Telecom becoming the world’s largest operator of all-optical networks and all-IP networks.


In addition, Mao Qian said that China Unicom's program control is also retired, many provinces and cities built a full-fibre network.


UBB is FTTH Development Opportunity and Challenge


Mao Qian believes that bandwidth is a key factor in the development of high-quality video. The development of 4K, 8K video and smart homes must enable FTTH to reach UBB. In addition, online games also consume bandwidth. At the end of 2017, online game users were 440 million. The rate is 57.2%.


Mao Qian stated that technologies such as 10GPON, T-WDM PON, and XGS-PON are gradually applied to FTTH construction, but UBO's high deployment cost is still the biggest challenge in UBB development. He estimates that the large-scale deployment of UBB will cause CPEX to decline.


The continuous evolution of optical access technology is an opportunity for FTTH development


Following the relatively mature XGPON and XGS-PON technologies, how GPON technology has further developed has become a concern for the entire industry chain.


According to the data, in February 2018, ITU-T SG15 established the 50GPON standard project. "50GPON is a single-channel PON, which is different from TWDM PON, and it is a TDM PON," Mao Qian believes that 50GPON may replace TWDM 40GPON, which provides FTTH users with greater bandwidth or greater coverage, providing an effective means .


High cost of operation and maintenance is the challenge for the continued development of FTTH


Mao Qian pointed out that at the beginning of the FTTH development, CAPEX was at a high level, and with the scale application, the high OPEX contradictions gradually became prominent. The hidden risks left by the installation and construction are many, or the quality of the products is poor, and the contradictions are passed on to O&M. The users are scattered and the number of users is large, and it is difficult to serve the users. Due to the different levels of user knowledge, most of them have little knowledge of FTTH technology and require a large amount of work. In addition, point-to-multipoint fault location is difficult and brings high maintenance costs.


"Improve the installation level and ensure product quality is the fundamental to reduce the operation and maintenance costs." Mao Qian suggested using QQ, WeChat and other platforms to increase the operation and maintenance methods and reduce the operation and maintenance costs; in addition, the use of AI technology to improve the intelligence of operation and maintenance It is also the long-term development direction.


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