October 20, 2023
What is the future of the digital and intelligent world? The question has very complex answers, but one of them is abundantly clear. That is, intelligence will undoubtedly develop towards ubiquitous 10Gbps bandwidth.
Networks are the foundation of computing power connections and the basis of intelligent evolution. Each generation of digital upgrade has proven that networks are the prerequisites for any successful advancement. Today, intelligence technologies are developing rapidly, and networks are upgraded from gigabit optical networks to 10Gbps optical networks accordingly, which is also referred to as F5.5G.
At last year’s Ultra-Broadband Forum (UBBF), Huawei demonstrated the vision and key technologies of F5.5G to all sectors of the industry. After a period of development, F5.5G has been accepted as a consensus among all walks of life. For example, the Next-Generation Broadband Roadmap 2023 to 2030 white paper released by World Broadband Association (WBBA) comprehensively describes concepts such as 10Gbps homes, 10Gbps campuses, 800G converged bearing, and AI DCN, echoing the core viewpoints of F5.5G.
In other words, F5.5G has developed from a mere initiative to a widely accepted consensus. The coming challenge is how to turn F5.5G from an industry consensus into a construction reality. How should global operators plan their own F5.5G construction blueprint and select effective products and solutions?
On October 13, 2023, Richard Jin, President of Huawei’s Optical Business Product Line, delivered a keynote speech entitled “Bring F5.5G to Reality: Milestones on Our Way to Intelligent World” at UBBF 2023. In the speech, Richard proposed the three phases of an all-optical target network architecture towards F5.5G for the first time — all-optical coverage for 100 Mbps home broadband, all-optical connections extending 1Gbps to each room, and all-optical computing for 10Gbps Everywhere.
The concept of three-phase network construction offers an OptiX road that makes F5.5G a reality. It is also the way for global operators to stride towards the 10Gbps era.
F5.5G, from Consensus to Reality
The construction of F5.5G is now in its critical phase.
First, major communications standards organizations, operators, and network equipment vendors around the world have clearly recognized the short-term construction goal of evolving from gigabit to 10Gbps. Organizations such as ETSI and WBBA have presented the necessity, timeline, and specific technical solutions of 10Gbps. There is no doubt of whether to evolve networks to F5.5G, and the only challenge is how to achieve F5.5G.
Second, F5.5G has clear technical support. At UBBF 2022, Huawei released eight technological innovations of F5.5G, which have been widely applied in the past year. For example, Huawei 50G PON has more than 45 joint innovation and verification tests around the world. It provides ultra-high bandwidth and ultra-low latency network connections in various scenarios such as industrial networks, campus networks, and digital home networks.
Next, F5.5G already has clear market requirements, which can effectively help operators improve business value. For example, fiber to the room (FTTR) — a part of F5.5G — can comprehensively improve home broadband experiences and greatly expand operators’ business models. From the perspective of market construction, more and more cities around the world have released clear plans to build a 10Gbps City, which specifies the business prospect of F5.5G. For example, Beijing recently released the Optical Network Capital, 10Giga City” Action Plan (2023-2025), taking the lead in promoting the evolution of communication infrastructure to 10Gbps optical networks in China in the form of policy documents.
With the industry consensus, technical support, and market orientation, F5.5G is an inevitable trend and market direction for operators. Operators need to accurately find their service pain points, establish a target network based on services, and then develop the F5.5G construction solution that best meets their requirements. Only in this way can they maximize the value of network construction and minimize the overall cost.
To achieve this goal, Huawei has found three key driving forces for fixed network development: video, experience, and intelligence. Oriented to these driving forces, global operators can find a clear road to OptiX that makes F5.5G a reality.
Overlooking the Road to OptiX: Three Phases of All-Optical Target Network Architecture
Target network architecture is very important in the communications industry. It can reversely analyze the model, method, and pace of each network construction step through clear development goals. In the construction of F5.5G, operators need a target network architecture that is coupled with their services. In this way, we can evaluate the real value of F5.5G and focus on the road to OptiX, edging closer towards 10Gbps connectivity.
In Huawei’s view, popular services can give rise to network connection requirements, and the collection of emerging network requirements helps develop the three phases of an all-optical target network architecture towards F5.5G. To facilitate understanding, we will summarize the three phases as Three OptiXs.
First OptiX: Optical multimedia integrate with home broadband services.
People have endless requirements for HD and real-time videos. Following HD mobile videos and HD live streaming, new multimedia requirements keep emerging. Immersive XR is rapidly popularizing, and the demand for glasses-free 3D videos is on the way. Such video requirements will promote all-optical coverage to achieve 100 Mbps home broadband.
In this phase, operators need to fully move towards FMC and replace cooper lines and cables with fiber to the home (FTTH) all-optical networks to meet home broadband upgrade requirements. Serialized AirPON can accelerate FTTH construction and support GPON and 10G PON compatibility, enabling rapid provisioning of gigabit services in hotspot areas. Meanwhile, operators need to deploy OTN to metro networks and build 3D-mesh 400G ready backbone networks to support non-blocking bandwidth and zero video lagging, upgrade home broadband services, and improve the business value through multimedia development.
Second OptiX: The optical digital life extends to every room.
Today, network requirements in home and intra-city scenarios are changing rapidly. Digital applications are continuously enriched, smart home products are increasingly diversified, and the virtual-physical integrated metaverse experience is becoming more and more mature. All these raise new requirements on network coverage, bandwidth, latency, and roaming. Each room needs independent network coverage to provide a brand-new life experience in the digital era. In this phase, all-optical connections will extend 1Gbps to rooms to meet the increasingly higher user experience requirements.
Take FTTR — a typical service — as an example. To implement end-to-end all-optical connections and 1Gbps to rooms, operators need to upgrade 10G PON to fully deliver gigabit services, deploy metro OTN to CO and upgrade it to 100G, and upgrade backbone networks to 400G to implement non-blocking ultra-broadband. The smart life experience enabled by FTTR has been widely recognized by consumers and has become one of the core driving forces for operators to upgrade networks to F5.5G.
Third OptiX: Intelligent OptiX empowers various industries.
With the booming of AI technologies and the intelligent transformation of various industries, network infrastructure faces many challenges such as traffic surge and full-scale cloud adoption. A computing-centric network is needed to provide bus-level connection capabilities for building a social network environment with all-optical computing for 10Gbps Everywhere, facilitating the intelligent transformation of various industries.
To achieve this goal, FTTR must be fully upgraded to support an all-optical home bus that integrates connection, sensing, computing, and storage capabilities, provides 10Gbps for the entire house, and supports connect-and-use of end IoT devices. In addition, the access network needs to be upgraded to 50G PON that is compatible with GPON and 10G PON. Metro OTN needs to be moved downwards to COs, and the backbone network needs to be upgraded to 800G OTN to build an all-optical cloud bus, implementing all-optical one-hop connection between users and DCs and between DCs.
To sum up, HD videos drive 100 Mbps network construction, experience upgrades drive Gigabit network construction, and intelligent applications drive 10Gbps network construction. In different service development phases, operators should build the most appropriate all-optical target network to achieve optimal service experiences and business success. In the F5.5G era, the three phases of all-optical target networks will develop in parallel and continuously, jointly promoting the industry to stride to a new all-optical era.
Road to OptiX: Huawei’s Capabilities and Choices
The three-phase all-optical target network needs to ensure parallel evolution and smooth upgrade from F5G to F5.5G to achieve the transition from ubiquitous gigabit to ubiquitous 10Gbps. In this way, operators can flexibly combine the three phases to find the most suitable F5.5G solution. This is an inevitable requirement for the fixed network industry to stride towards F5.5G and an upgrade path that is closer to operators’ actual service situations. Against this backdrop, Huawei has contributed abundant technical capabilities and provided all-round support for operators to find suitable network upgrade solutions.
According to Richard, “Operators need the most appropriate all-optical target network construction solution in different development phases. So far, 100 Mbps has changed the content, 1Gbps is changing the broadband experience, and 10Gbps will change society. Let’s work together to bring F5.5G into reality and stride towards an intelligent world.”
Specifically, to achieve the goal of constructing 100 Mbps home broadband, Huawei FlexPON+ provides the PON turbo solution, which improves PON data payload from 8.6 Gbps to 10Gbps. Meanwhile, the dual class D module increases 10G PON port density from 16 to 32, and coverage by 8 km. Huawei’s DQ ODN with fiber iris and intelligent analysis algorithm has achieved 95% resource identification accuracy. Therefore, link faults can be located within 15 minutes and without site visits. This can help operators digitalize their ODN networks and reduce OPEX. In addition, Huawei’s innovative AirPON all-outdoor solution provides flexible and low-cost deployment capabilities, forming a fast and low-cost network construction solution to help operators quickly realize a positive business cycle in FTTH services.
To meet the network upgrade requirement of gigabit to the room, Huawei’s FTTR C-WAN 1.5 architecture enhances centralized management and optimization capabilities, doubles the number of concurrent IoT connections to 256, and reduces the response time by 90%. In addition, Wi-Fi 6 is upgraded to Wi-Fi 7, increasing the access rate to 3Gbps and reducing the latency by 30%. In terms of metro networks, the new mini WSS of Huawei Alps-WDM supports multi-degree CO networking and is compatible with existing OTN networks, reducing CAPEX by 20%. The newly-available fgOTN supports encapsulation and grooming at a granularity of 10 Mbps, meeting the requirements of multiple service granularities on metro networks. In addition, the number of connections increases by 100 times, and the site latency decreases by 30%.
In terms of network O&M management: 1. The 5D marketing insight of Huawei premium broadband increases the precision marketing success rate from 3% to 10%. 2. Time-space correlation analysis shortens the troubleshooting duration from hours to minutes. 3. Transport digital map provides multi-layer visualization from optical fibers, resources, to SLA. It shortens the TTM from weeks to days and guarantees 99.999% availability. 4. Root cause analysis can combine alarms with the same source, achieving “one fault one ticket”. All these enhance operators’ FTTR service value, meeting multi-dimensional requirements from technical implementation to O&M management.
To cope with intelligent 10Gbps network construction, Huawei 50G PON supports symmetric bandwidth, meeting the upstream bandwidth requirements of digital applications and improving the network performance to four times the industry average. In addition, E2E hard slicing provides different SLAs, and the bandwidth can be guaranteed and adjusted from 10 Mbps to 10Gbps. Huawei Super 800G supports the PBC non-linear compensation algorithm, extending the transmission distance by 20%. The new materials and COSA packaging technology are used to reduce connection loss by 90% and support 800G and 1.2T programmability, meeting intelligent network customization requirements of the industry and expanding operators’ service scope.
Moreover, Huawei designs the next-generation OTN platform Kepler for DCI scenarios. The dual 3D orthogonal architecture increases the capacity of a single subrack to over 100 Tbps, which is four times the industry average. It uses the same front-to-rear ventilation design and AC power supplies as servers, improving the heat dissipation efficiency by three times, decreasing the power consumption per gigabit from 0.3 W to 0.1 W, and supporting deployment of DC equipment rooms whose power usage effectiveness (PUE) is less than 1.2. In addition, the built-in optical processing unit shortens the optical parameter collection and processing duration from seconds to milliseconds, significantly improving O&M efficiency.
Huawei’s next-generation OTN — DCI-oriented Kepler platform
In general, Huawei has developed numerous technologies and products for the three phases of an all-optical target network architecture towards F5.5G. It offers powerful capabilities to promote network construction and upgrade, bringing F5.5G into reality. For F5.5G, Huawei’s capabilities in the all-optical network field can be summarized as follows:
State of the art. Huawei predicts operators’ network requirements in advance and provides industry-leading network performance and technical capabilities.
Service-oriented. Huawei provides an E2E solution that covers marketing and O&M management based on operators’ actual service scenarios to enhance their F5.5G service capabilities.
Intelligent convergence. Huawei provides various F5.5G products and technologies that are fully integrated with intelligent capabilities to enhance the intelligence of platform analysis and network autonomy, helping operators stride into the intelligent era.
On the F5.5G-oriented road to OptiX, Huawei focuses on the three-phase target network to provide operators with targeted and reliable products and solutions, building a ubiquitous 10Gbps all-optical future with solid technological innovations.
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