Track 1: Access Network Advances

Network Implications of Wireline and Wireless Convergence

September 26, 2019 9:15 AM - 10:15 AM

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Kara Mullaley



In the last decade, the communications industry has rapidly built next-generation communications capability. The world’s largest carriers have executed 3G wireless, 4G wireless, and FTTH deployments; cable operators have shifted to fiber deep technologies; and owners of hyperscale data centers have increased their capabilities and global footprint. All of these network types have one thing in common: they are increasingly optical. More importantly, the growth and innovation in the industry is accelerating. Carriers are now evaluating 5G technologies to achieve ambitious goals and service requirements such as higher mobile data rates (100 Mb), low-latency services (1 ms), and massive connectivity through the Internet of Things. As networks evolve toward 5G, the number of antenna sites and amount of spectrum will scale with service-level requirements, driving optical fiber even deeper into the network. The deployment of 5G networks will create a new wave of optical fiber demand for antenna densification. However, the network architectures will vary greatly. Areas with high spectrum costs and low density will have vastly different architectures as compared to geographies with low spectrum costs and high density. Innovation in network infrastructure solutions can simplify network architectures, enable lower-cost installation, and create multiuse networks with new fiber access platforms and innovative pathway creation methods.