New development from Huawei and Vodafone could accelerate high-speed broadband roll-outs.
Chinese tech giant Huawei and Vodafone Ireland have successfully conducted a field trial of virtualising fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) networks into multiple network slices.
The breakthrough could significantly speed up how FTTH and business deployments are managed, and enable ISPs and telcos to serve multiple customers across the same infrastructure.
‘In a world where delivering fibre to the premises will be critical to consumers and businesses alike, Vodafone is confident that the technology will help increase utilisation levels and stimulate the development of new service’
– MADALINA SUCEVEANU
The field trial of fixed-access network slicing (FANS) makes it possible for different service providers to manage their own customers on the same piece of fibre going into a building.
Effectively, a virtualised network can run across a single strand of fibre, making it possible for different ISPs to independently serve customers in the same building or premises.
“The introduction of the access virtualisation technology is an important step for our commitment to be at the forefront of technological innovation,” explained Madalina Suceveanu, Vodafone Ireland technology director.
“This will translate into a better network experience offered to our fixed customers.”
The breakthrough has the potential to facilitate new joint ventures and co-investment partner models for operating FTTH networks.
“In a world where delivering fibre to the premises will be critical to consumers and businesses alike, Vodafone is confident that the technology will help increase utilisation levels and stimulate the development of new services.
“It could also make it easier for partners to share networks, which in turn will further help us to build fibre networks that deliver ultra-fast speeds to everyone, bringing about the gigabit society of the future,” Suceveanu said.
Slice of digital life
The test was carried out in Vodafone Ireland with specialist Huawei teams supporting this joint initiative. Separate consumer and enterprise virtual network slices were created on a live FTTH network.
The consumer slice carried broadband internet and Vodafone TV services while the enterprise slice carried One Net business services, including voice.
The virtual access network trial was carried out on Huawei MA5800, a new-generation smart optical line terminal (OLT). The MA5800 uses a distributed architecture similar to a core router, which can partition a physical OLT into multiple logically independent virtual OLTs.
Different logical OLTs have independent hardware resources and software systems, and can be separately managed and configured. The trial results showed the successful operation of MA5800 virtual access network architecture.
“The solution can provide independent operation and maintenance management for multi-services bearing, and it can help to improve equipment efficiency, reduce operation and maintenance costs, and achieve business success,” said Jeff Wang, president of Huawei Access Network.