ZTE's Innovative Practices in Optical Fiber Transformation

Release Date:2022-09-26 Author:By Sun Jin Click:


With the enrichment of broadband access scenarios and continuous service innovations in recent years, and facing tremendous pressure from telecom operators and OTT providers, multi-service operators (MSOs) need to accelerate the transformation and upgrade of their cable TV networks, and the way forward is migration to full-fiber infrastructure. The construction of an all-fiber network lays the foundation for the digital transformation of society and its future-proof nature maximizes the network's return on investment. 

Having been in the optical access field for 20 years, ZTE is committed to bandwidth acceleration and application innovations, and continuously leads the development and commercial practice of optical access technologies. ZTE's state-of-the-art end-to-end optical access products and solutions have been deployed by over 270 operators in more than 100 countries around the world, helping them deploy FTTx networks in a faster and more economical way. 


ZTE's Innovative Products and Solutions
Series of FTTx Products Support Commercial Use of Gigabit Services and Diverse Deployment Scenarios
Based on the innovative future-proof flagship optical access TITAN platform, ZTE's OLT products are the first in the industry to adopt a fully distributed architecture over high-end routers, with industry-leading switching capacity and access capability. The innovative dual-channel WDM Combo PON solution integrates three functions in one card. Compared with the traditional external WDM1r solution, the Combo solution greatly saves equipment room space, without adding extra devices or changing the ODN and the optical power budget. One TITAN platform supports three generations of PON technologies (GPON, 10G PON and 50G PON), and one Combo line card supports two generations of PON technologies (GPON and 10G PON), enabling smooth network evolution and protecting the operators' investments. 
ZTE's ONU series provide a wide range of interfaces including GPON, XG-PON, XGS-PON and 50G PON interfaces at the WAN side, and Ethernet, USB, Wi-Fi, IoT interfaces at the UNI side, to address different user requirements and meet various FTTx scenario requirements. In addition, ZTE is the first in the industry to provide EasyMesh-certified CPE series, which support plug-and-play interconnection of heterogeneous devices and help operators deploy and launch their networks quickly and flexibly.
Options of Combo PON and Any-PON Support Flexible Upgrade to 10G PON Based on Service Development Needs
ZTE Combo PON solution uses the XGS-PON and GPON technologies operating on different wavelengths and multiplexes the two different wavelengths in one optical module to transmit and receive XGS-PON and GPON optical signals independently. The Combo PON optical module has a built-in multiplexer that multiplexes and demultiplexes the uplink and downlink wavelengths required by the XGS-PON and GPON. The Combo PON optical module implements multi-wavelength transmission and processing over a single fiber. Meanwhile, as XGS-PON operates over the same wavelengths as XG-PON, Combo PON naturally supports the compatibility with XG-PON ONUs, successfully realizing the coexistence of XG-PON, XGS-PON, and GPON. By using the Combo PON solution, the operators can construct the central offices in a one-off manner, and deploy GPON or XG(S)-PON CPEs as per demand. 
In the areas where operators face financial pressure in deploying 10G PON CPEs in a short term, the Any-PON solution can be adopted to deploy GPON at the early stage of network construction and evolve to 10G PON as needed. Any-PON can support GPON, XG(S)-PON and Combo PON by inserting different optical modules into a line card. Compared with Combo PON, Any-PON supports GPON and XG(S)-PON access by replacing the optical module according to the operator's planning, without changing the ODN or replacing the line card. But the Any-PON solution may require two or more site visits, and a license upgrade during the upgrade to 10G PON. 
Pre-Connectorized Solution Accelerates Fiber Transformation
The ODN accounts for 50%﹣70% of the entire FTTH network construction cost, and 90% or above of the total FTTH construction time. Therefore, ODN is the key to fiber transformation. 
During the ODN construction, operators will face the problems of long construction cycle, great construction difficulties, and high costs. In particular, much fiber splicing needs to be done, which requires specialized construction tools and technical personnel. In the areas where labor costs are high or technical personnel are insufficient, fiber splicing makes it difficult for operators to deploy fiber networks, which hinders the pace of fiber transformation. 


To meet the requirements for efficient and budget-friendly optical fiber network construction, ZTE launched the pre-connectorized solution, including a series of indoor and outdoor pre-connectorized boxes and pre-fabricated optical cables (Fig. 1). The plug-and-play pre-fabricated connectors replace the traditional complicated optical fiber splicing, thus reducing the difficulty in optical fiber connection and improving construction efficiency. The solution provides the industry's first pre-fabricated connectors that support blind plug-in and self-lock, adopts a modular design, and supports all-weather deployment, making operations easier and networking more flexible. ZTE has accumulated extensive experience in ODN turnkey projects. At present, the company has deployed ODNs in more than 50 countries and regions with more than 20 million homes passed. 


Success Cases 
Combo PON Helps IZZI Quickly Construct FTTx Networks and Migrate from HFC 
The MSOs' networks are mainly cable networks, which have been applied on a large scale in the European and American markets. In particular, the American market accounts for more than 70% of the global cable network market. 
Due to the technical limitations of the cable network, IZZI, a Mexican operator, faced three major challenges: first it was unable to provide high bandwidth (especially uplink bandwidth) with limited shared spectrum resources; second, it faced the competition from both telecommunications operators and OTT vendors; and finally it needed to deal with the complicated management of active devices and high costs.
Under the trend of MSO transformation and based on IZZI's requirements, ZTE recommended that IZZI use the TITAN platform to construct its FTTx networks. ZTE's industry-first Combo PON solution based on the TITAN platform supports GPON and 10G PON access without changing the existing ODN, and allows migration of existing GPON users to 10G PON on demand. Compared with traditional solutions, this solution saves 60% of equipment room space and 26% of deployment costs (estimated based on 5 years).
IZZI adopted different network construction strategies for different areas:
—For greenfield deployments, GPON was the first choice. IZZI used XGS-PON to deploy networks oriented to enterprise users, and promoted 10G PON+Wi-Fi 6 deployment. 
—For the purchased FTTH networks, cut over services and devices step by step. In terms of services, cut over broadband and video services first and then VoIP services. In terms of devices, cut over ONTs first and then OLTs.
—For the areas where the network has been deployed, migrated the high-value areas to FTTx and migrated the traditional areas from DOCSIS 2.0 to DOCSIS 3.0/3.1.
IZZI used ZTE Combo PON solution to build its FTTH networks in greenfield areas, providing three-network integrated services to the home users and providing services to the enterprise users via XGS-PON. It also planned to provide home users with a bandwidth of up to 500 Mbps. Moreover, ZTE Combo PON solution supports continuous bandwidth upgrade. 
ZTE's Key E2E Capabilities Help Megacable Achieve Fast Fiber Transformation and Save TCO 
Mexican cable operator Megacable faced a number of problems such as high O&M costs, limited technical evolution and inflexible service deployment. After analyzing Megacable's challenges and requirements, ZTE recommended it to use FTTH to reconstruct its cable networks.
ZTE provided end-to-end turnkey delivery to Megacable, including OLTs, ONTs and outside plant construction (OSP) of the ODN, and guaranteed the high quality and rapid delivery of the OSP project with its outstanding product performance, rich design experience, and professional local teams. 
After a successful optical network transformation, Megacable adopted proactive marketing strategies and designed diversified packages for all important bandwidth levels. In particular, Megacable offers rich and competitively priced packages with speeds of 100 Mbps or above, covering 100Mbps, 200 Mbps, 350 Mbps, 500 Mbps, and 1000 Mbps. Through fiber transformation, Megacable increased its market share, and achieved continuous and stable revenue growth.
ZTE's fiber transformation solution has been commercially deployed by a number of MSOs and helped them seize the opportunities in the wave of fiber transformation. Continuously consolidating its basic capabilities and focusing on customer needs, ZTE will help MSOs build a competitive edge, and achieve industry expansion and business success.