Many companies began to gradually move to the use of FTTx technology as the main one for providing services in the field of Internet access. Now it is not so difficult and expensive, as it was several years ago. That's why the corresponding product is actively promoted in the market.
What it is?
The use of FTTx technology involves the involvement of fiber-optic solutions for the construction of broadband networks. It is worth describing what is meant by this new concept.
FTTx is a term that describes a general approach to the formation of a cable network infrastructure in which the optics reaches from the communication center to a specific location, designated as "x", and then, directly to the subscribers, a copper cable is laid. It is quite possible to lay optics and directly to the subscriber device. By and large, the use of FTTx technology implies only a physical level. But under this concept, a large number of network and channel-level technologies are hidden. Broadband allows you to provide a huge number of new services.
Interest in such networks
At the moment, the main engine of the FTTx market is mass demand for broadband access, and it is very difficult to provide it if you use only ADSL. Optical solutions have been increasingly introduced in large cities, and there is clearly a tendency to merge small operators with larger ones that operate on a federal scale. FTTx technologies are very actively used in settlements where the infrastructure was initially built on the basis of the optical path.
The development of the FTTx market on Russian territory depends not only on the demand for quality content, but also on the number of large construction projects, as well as aggravation of competition among broadband service providers. Due to the dynamic construction of apartment buildings, the FTTx network is becoming very fast and economically feasible, and competition makes it so that the cost of Internet access is getting lower. A few years ago, the attention of operators was directed to the corporate consumer, and now ordinary subscribers are increasingly being considered.
Feature of construction
FTTx technologies until recently were used by operators who did not have their own infrastructure of the old generation, that is, they were made from copper, and this was explained by the high cost of forming structures from optical fiber. However, in the past few years, interest in new networks is growing. Among the reasons for this can be called the expansion of the range of services, the expansion of passive optical networks (PON) and the expansion of Metro Ethernet, the reduction in the cost of fiber optic products, and the success of some operators in the construction of such networks.
New content types
Connection technology FTTx is becoming more popular in the light of the fact that modern users are increasingly interested in new types of content with video and graphics of high quality. The main catalyst for the introduction of fiber optic systems was the growing interest in video services. The transfer of the center of gravity from group broadcasting to individual means an increase in the subscriber's need for a dedicated bandwidth, which will soon be up to 100 megabits per second per household.
Sales of high-definition LCD TVs are growing at an ever-increasing rate, which indicates the need for customers to receive broadcast services of better-quality television programs than what analog TV can offer. The use of IP-TV is seen by many experts as the most logical development of events. That is, only so the user can choose the programs, movies, as well as the time of their viewing. That is why it is considered that with a mass connection using FTTx xPON technologies this will already be a matter not of the nearest five-year plan, but only of a couple of years. Every Internet provider at the moment understands that investments in optics represent investments for several decades ahead, profits on which will exceed costs in dozens of times. This can explain the active purchase of optical lines, as well as a number of pilot projects, including the laying of optics directly to the subscriber equipment.
What are the risks?
In the coming years, the Internet with FTTx technology will not be the only option that can guarantee the provision of broadband access services, but the fiber infrastructure has a sufficiently high potential, which makes it possible to have confidence in the return of all investments. At the moment, much activity is characteristic for the modernization of backbone networks, and the FTTx technology market is still at the stage of study, design and testing. However, now the operators are interested in the elements of spectral multiplexing, as well as passive optical splitters. In addition, the sales of high-capacity optical crosses, also used in FTTx solutions, are expected to grow.
Kinds of architecture
Technology FTTx (Rostelecom) includes several types of architectures:
- FTTN (Fiber to the Node) - fiber reaches the network node;
- FTTC (Fiber to the Curb) - fiber reaches the microdistrict, quarter or several houses;
- FTTB (Fiber to the Building) - fiber reaches the building;
- FTTH (Fiber to the Home) - fiber reaches the dwelling.
The main difference is how close the optical cable is to the user terminal. The first solutions appeared were FTTN and FTTC. The first solution to date is used only as quickly implemented and budgetary where there is a copper distribution infrastructure, and the laying of optics is simply unprofitable. The difficulties associated with such a solution are known to everyone: the low quality of services provided, related to the specific problems of copper cables in the sewage system, a significant limitation in speed and number of connections in one cable. FTTC is an improved type of FTTN that does not have the inherent flaws. In the case of using FTTC copper cables are laid only inside buildings, which means that they are not subject to destructive factors and also do not have a long line length, the quality of the copper cores used is also important. This is why it is possible to achieve greater speed on the site without fiber. This offer is valid when connected using FTTx PON technology. This architecture is aimed at operators who are already actively using xDSL technology, as well as cable TV operators. Thanks to the implementation of such an architecture, they can not only reduce costs, but also increase the number of connected users, as well as the bandwidth allocated to each of them. This type of connection in Russia is most often used by operators of small Ethernet networks, which is associated with the low cost of copper solutions, as well as the need for high skill for the installation of an optical cable.
The issues of equipment placement, which terminates the optical component of the communication line using FTTx xPON technologies, depend on a number of reasons:
- the existence of an alternative infrastructure or its absence;
- the possibility to place active equipment in the house;
- the number of subscribers to be connected;
Experts say that there is a very specific classification of terminal FTTx devices, which is tied to the point "x". The range of services offered depends on the type and number of interfaces used in the terminal device, as well as the mechanism for managing traffic. If it is necessary to preserve the existing infrastructure, it is worthwhile to focus on FTTC / FTTB systems having an optical uplink interface. Such systems are appropriate to use at large enterprises, in residential complexes and business centers, where there is an existing copper infrastructure.
The organization of networks using FTTx technology is most economically justifiable in case of a significant concentration of solvent customers or new construction, when the questions about the organization of cable laying are still at the decision stage. It is desirable that the network is planned so that the "x" point is placed as close to the client as possible, that is, to the subscriber. When building new areas it is best to bring it directly to the building, it will be convenient both at the initial stage and in the future. This offer is valid when connecting to FTTx xpon technologies.