Gamers Need Fiber to Solve One Big Problem

September 04, 2019

What do video games have to do with fiber broadband? As we learned from the opening keynote at Fiber Connect 2019 — quite a bit. In June, Matthew Gunnin, the CEO and Founder of Esports One, introduced the audience in Orlando to the rapidly growing world of professional video gaming and called on the fiber industry to meet the growing connectivity needs of gamers.

Over the past four decades, a small but passionate group of video game enthusiasts launched and grew the sport from humble beginnings in 1972 at the Intergalactic Olympic Spacewars in Stanford to the 1990 Nintendo World Championships. Today, esports has entered the mainstream. A shocking 400 million fans worldwide view esports either online, on TV or in person. In fact, more than 200 million tuned into last year’s League of Legends World Championships alone.

Professional esports leagues and franchises abound. Fans pack huge arenas like the Barclays Center to watch their favorite games and players, and millions more tune in from their armchairs at home. Top universities like Michigan State, UCLA, Duke, and UNC, as well as high schools nationwide, also have competitive esports teams. Esports is big business, generating more than $59 million in ticket sales each year. Gunnin pegged investment in the industry at a cool $2.3 million to date and predicted that this would continue to grow.

But one key challenge facing the esports is latency in Internet connectivity. Most video games require Internet speeds of at least 10 Mbps to 25 Mbps; slower speeds cause lagging that kills games for at-home players. Anger and frustration can ensue when a slow connection causes a player’s untimely death in an intense game. See this prank video by a Danish Internet provider to see how six young gamers reacted to a buffering game.

But in the professional world of esports, this challenge is particularly pronounced because the stakes are much higher. Gunnin explained that, in order to create an even playing field and avoid technical difficulties, franchises will fly all gamers out to the same location to play under the same roof. Professional esports teams simply cannot play remotely because of network latency problems, greatly limiting the number of competitions. Fiber offers low latency, so this presents a huge opportunity to bring blazing fast and reliable all-fiber networks to fuel the growing esports industry.

Both at home on the couch and in the largest stadiums and arenas worldwide, gamers need the best connection available — and that’s fiber. Fiber broadband has a role to play in the growing esports industry. Now is the time to capitalize.

full article at https://optics.fiberbroadband.org/Full-Article/gamers-need-fiber-to-solve-one-big-problem

Broadband Access Added Up to $2.9B Market in Q1 – Dell’Oro

Worldwide revenue for broadband access equipment dropped 2% to $2.9 billion in the first three months of the year, according to a new report by Dell’Oro Group.

Sales of XG-PON, XGS-PON, NG-PON2 OLT ports, DOCSIS 3.1 and customer premises equipment (CPE) somewhat offset converged cable access platform (CCAP) spending, which declined for the second quarter in a row, the research firm found. In fact, total cable access concentrator revenue shrank 38% when compared with the prior period a year ago, driven by the CCAP spending slowdown in both North America and Europe, Dell’Oro said.

On the other hand, 10Gbit/s FTTH deployments continued to gain steam, said Jeff Heynen, research director for Broadband Access and Home Networking at Dell’Oro.

“The next-gen fiber increases nearly offset the weakness in cable CCAP spending, as cable operators push off new capacity purchases while they determine how to move forward with distributed access architectures,” he said in a statement.

Total SOHO WLAN units grew 13% in this period. The SOHO market eagerly adopted mesh routers, designed to leverage high-speed broadband and deliver reliable, low latency and fast WiFi coverage throughout a home or small office. This particular segment increased 125% within 12 months, Dell’Oro said, while broadband CPE rose 19% in that timeframe.

Breaking out various pieces of the access market, the 1Q 2019 Broadband Access Quarterly Report determined total DSL port shipments decreased 21% year-over-year. Unsurprisingly, ADSL ports dropped dramatically, tumbling 71% in 12 months; VDSL ports decreased too, about one-fifth or 20%, Dell’Oro said.

This marks a continuation of slowing sales of copper-based technologies although gigabit-capable Gfast is a brighter spot for both vendors and providers. Usually positioned as a cost-effective, revenue-generating transition into fiber that allows operators to use existing copper until a building owner is ready for full-fiber, Gfast typically is deemed most appropriate for multi-dwelling units (MDUs) where it’s most challenging to deploy fiber to each living space. Consumers and government conflated fiber and high-speed, causing several operators like BT to deploy fiber instead of previously planned Gfast.

“VDSL Profile 35b and Gfast will offset some — not all — of the revenue loss from declining ADSL port shipments,” according to an earlier Dell’Oro Broadband Access 5-Year Forecast. “Some major Gfast deployments are already seeing signs of shrinking as governments lobby operators to increase their investments in fiber.”

Year-over-year shipments of all PON optical line terminals (OLTs) grew 7%, with XGS-PON experiencing a 337% surge in sales. While first-quarter 2018 sales of XGS-PON were relatively miniscule, most operators cited it as the 10G PON technology of choice and plan to deploy it by 2020, a November 2018 study found.

By 2022, XGS-PON will amass $1.034 billion in sales, compared with 2017 sales of $16 million, according to Dell’Oro. By comparison, NG-PON2 will deliver sales of only $204 million in 2022 versus $5.9 million in 2017, the researcher said.

see the original news at:

http://www.broadbandworldnews.com/document.asp?doc_id=752107

Case Study: Andorra Telecom Adopts GPON to Optimize Triple-Play Services

Published at LIGHTWAVE (February 18,2019)

https://www.lightwaveonline.com/articles/2019/02/case-study-andorra-telecom-adopts-gpon-to-optimize-triple-play-services.html

By Maria Alejandro, GPONDoctor

Andorra is a lovely and tiny independent principality in the Pyrenees, sandwiched between Spain and France. With a surface of 468 km2, it is one of the smallest microstates in Europe, with a year-round population of just 75,000 inhabitants. But while small in size, in 2016 Andorra received more than 8 million visitors drawn by winter sports, summer climate, duty-free shopping, and a wealthy international commercial and banking sector. While many visitors come for leisure, a growing number come for business.

One of the key backbones to Andorra’s successful competitive business environment is its high-performance telecommunications infrastructure: 98% of homes and business have access to broadband Internet and 100% get these services through optical fiber networks. But with both visitors and residents demanding more bandwidth, Andorra Telecom faced an important question: How do they stay ahead?

If You Build It, They Will Come

Andorra Telecom realized quickly at the beginning of the 21st century that digital video was a reality. Streaming video through the Internet would require moving from existing infrastructures to newer ones that could handle higher than average rates per subscriber.

At that time, Ethernet Passive Optical Network (EPON) and Gigabit-Capable Passive Optical Network (GPON) were being standardized, and both were valid options to solve bandwidth requirements in the access network. Because EPON arrived earlier into the market, Andorra Telecom used it as a competitive advantage, to become one of the first countries in Europe to reach 100% coverage with FTTH technology back in May 2010. Andorra Telecom then deactivated its DSL network, making it the first country in the world to claim an all-fiber broadband footprint.

And they did not stop there. In 2017, Andorra Telecom decided to evolve their fiber network infrastructure from EPON to GPON to meet the growing demand for higher speed Internet access. (GPONDoctor provided training courses and support at the initial stage of this technology migration.)

EPON vs. GPON

The main difference between EPON and GPON is from a standards perspective. The IEEE defined EPON, while the ITU-T defined GPON. Both are built to be exploited for a long period of time and assure a high availability of services at any time. However, EPON was defined from the perspective of a corporate IT manager, while GPON was defined from the perspective of a telecom operator. The two perspectives are quite different.

GPON standards from a telecom operator perspective were built on the premise that the network must meet customer demands for service availability 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The initial EPON specifications didn’t contain a common management protocol for this level of performance, which led to proprietary implementations (a shortcoming the IEEE did address later through development of a common platform).

The telecom operator perspective is why in the field GPON registers a lower number of incidents and allows co-existence with such next-generation PON technologies as XGS-PON and NG-PON2. These characteristics are key for a new telecom network deployment to be profitable, making GPON management better at addressing telecom operators’ requirements.

Along these lines, Andorra Telecom decided to migrate from EPON to GPON because of the way optical network units (ONUs – the EPON units at the customer premises) were managed. GPON offered more reliability for continuous service; opex is lower than in EPON networks as well. The explanation for this discrepancy is that in Andorra Telecom’s EPON network, the devices at the customers’ homes stored the configuration in internal memory. In GPON, the optical line terminal (OLT) in the central office reconfigures (if necessary) the customer premises optical network terminal (ONT, the GPON version of the ONU) every time it is started.

In Andorra Telecom’s EPON implementation, if there was an update in the configuration and the device at home was turned off, that update was not applied and incidences began to occur. In GPON, it does not matter if the device is turned off or on periodically; when the device is turned on, the OLT checks how it is configured and updates it in case it is necessary.

Benefits of GPON for Triple Play

Another concern for Andorra Telecom was the ability to provide all services using the same telecommunications network. This is possible in GPON, which was designed to optimize triple play: voice, video (digital and analog), and data services for homes and businesses.

Some key benefits include the reliability of the point-to-multipoint architecture common to PONs, so that information sent from one point reaches all end-points. And GPON offers a smoother channel surfing experience. As Andorra Telecom discovered, a GPON architecture uses time-division multiplexing, where media access in the downstream is based on service ports that can be shared among users. This means that when several users in the same neighborhood are watching the same TV channel, the overall bandwidth consumed is not a factor of the bandwidth consumed by a single viewer.

In traditional telecom infrastructures the same video stream being sent by multiple viewers watching the same channel consumes more bandwidth. But in a GPON network, a common multicast channel carries the traffic being consumed at one specific moment by all the users in the same network, and each multicast flow is sent only once.

Why is this important? Because at one edge of the access network, the OLT only forwards towards the end users the TV channels being consumed and, at the other edge, the ONT located at the customer premises, is the device that controls sending the channel that is being consumed by the TV viewer and blockingthe ones being consumed by other users. Thus channel surfing or otherwise switching channels quickly does not impact the bandwidth consumed in the network if that channel is already being watched by another TV viewer. The new multicast flow is already being transmitted in the common multicast channel and the ONT just has to block the previous channel and forward the new one. (Figure 1) The result is more efficient use of bandwidth and ultimately a better viewing experience, especially for those of us who tend to change the channel a lot.

Figure 1. Bandwidth savings when several viewers watch the same channel.

Figure 1. Bandwidth savings when several viewers watch the same channel.

Dynamic on-demand network performance

GPON offers a more efficient and dynamic way of providing bandwidth governed from the OLT, the device at the operator’s site.

In unicast services, such as Netflix (Internet), GPON provides the mechanisms for the OLT to dynamically learn how much bandwidth each service requires. This way, if there is bandwidth assigned to a user that is not using it, the OLT is able to react and make this bandwidth available to other users that may require it. All this dynamic bandwidth management is done from the OLT according to the service-level agreement contracted by the customer, ensuring maximum network performance.

In multicast services, like broadcast TV, Internet Group Multicast Protocol (IGMP) filtering is used as the mechanism to serve or block IPTV channels on demand, allowing the network to distribute data to multiple recipients. Using multicast, Andorra Telecom can send a single copy of data to a single multicast address, which is then distributed to an entire group of recipients.

How is this done? Which video streams are sent through the network from a multicast source depend on upstream IGMP Join/Leave messages. When a TV viewer, using the remote control, zaps from one channel to another, this action results in an IGMP Leave of the previous channel, and an IGMP Join to the new one being sent in the upstream direction. The routers, on the way to the multicast source, receive these messages and filter, or allow the multicast flows to be served through their ports. This way multicast streams do not flood the network unnecessarily, which enables more efficient bandwidth management.

In December 2017, Andorra Telecom announced that they successfully completed the overhaul of their fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network, replacing all 35,000 end-user ONUs with ONTs in just 229 days. As a result, all customers are now able to access downlink transmission speeds of up to 300 Mbps. As they continue to work on optimizing the network, the early results are promising.

In early lab tests they have been able to separate the IPTV traffic (IGMP basically) from the rest of the services in uplink. The functionality of their ONTs has the potential to continue to improve network productivity as they roll out services and infrastructure further.

Andorra Telecom is a prime example of keeping telecom infrastructure up to date with demand. GPON architectures improve efficiencies in broadcasting and high-bandwidth triple play networks, offering valuable lessons for fiber deployments of any size.

Maria Alejandro is co-founder and global lab manager at GPONDoctor. With 20 years in the telecom industry in research, design. and development, she is an expert when it comes to optimizing last-mile quality assurance and OMCI, GPON’s ONU management protocol. She works closely with customers, including the world’s leading telecom providers, to deliver a better user experience for FTTH networks.

 

What 5,000 devices testing Broadband QoE can tell us

The way people experience the network is the main driver of customer satisfaction and loyalty

by Julio Lema, VP Customer Success at MedUX

In the telco world and more so in the domain of network quality and customer experience, we hear a lot about network KPIs and Customer Experience. There is a genuine concern for improving Quality of Service – the market for test and measurement solutions in telco is expected to exceed USD 6 Bn, CAGR over 9% –  so we may infer that better service should translate into an excellent customer experience.

But, how are we doing in terms of customer satisfaction as an industry? Do our efforts in improving networks and service translate into an excellent customer experience? The short answer is that it could be better. However, here are some cold facts:

  • Telecommunications ranks second last in the US, right over Public Administration, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index quarterly survey. Plus, figures in Europe or the rest of the world are not strikingly different, so we need improvement in terms of customer satisfaction.
  • Some analysis is called for: what are the most important components of customer satisfaction? Mobile phone, tariff, billing and network quality, are some of the factors with 100% impact, according to Customer Gauge’s 2018 NPS & CX Benchmark Report

So, in the end, network performance can be related to service performance. But are all QoS equally important? At MedUX, we have conducted a survey in the UK where we asked respondents to rank different Home Broadband Services as per their importance.

The results prove the intuitive notion we all have that not all services and metrics are equal. The metrics of quality that we need to reflect customer experience must be related to the concrete services that customers use. They also give us a measure of which services are more critical to Customer Satisfaction.

In order to report the actual experience that a customer would receive, there is a lot to be gained from testing those services from the very customer perspective. MedUX tests the services that customers use the most, from the customer end, by deploying it in the main markets in Europe.

5,000 devices and counting, what can they show us that can actually be used to improve customer experience that other solutions can’t?

Check the impact on Gaming, Google and Youtube at https://medux.com/what-5000-devices-testing-broadband-qoe-can-tell-us/

NetComm Wireless to supply NBN with world-first Gfast High port count DPUs

NetComm Wireless (ASX: NTC) has extended its agreement with NBN to supply a world-first product – the next generation of Reverse-Powered Distribution Point Units (DPUs), known as High port count DPUs.

Provided in 8 and 16 port variants, the new reverse-powered High port count DPU will enable nbn to extend the Fibre to the Curb (FTTC) network to higher density installation locations, such as multi-dwelling units, where bundled copper lines are prevalent. Advanced interference reduction technology (vectoring) is supported in the NetComm High port count DPU, which combined with Gfast (fibre-like speed) capability, facilitates maximum throughput speeds to the connected premises.Having a higher port count DPU that has reverse powering functionality reduces the overall solution cost and substantially simplifies deployment for the operator.

The agreement extension builds upon NetComm’s current position as nbn’s supplier of 4 port DPUs.

NetComm CEO and Managing Director Ken Sheridan said the solution is likely to gain traction in other global markets, particularly the UK and Europe, as it provides the missing link between running fibre down the street and delivering a Gigabit service into premises.

“More and more operators around the world are looking for a cost-effective way to a deliver a fibre-like experience. We are working with a number of Tier 1 operators in Europe and the UK that are trialing this technology.”

High port count DPUs are part of NetComm’s growing telecommunication infrastructure equipment and IIoT provider business. Other business lines include Fixed Wireless, NCD, IIoT and Machine-to-Machine solutions.

In FY18, NetComm’s telecommunication infrastructure equipment and IIoT revenue increased 81 per cent to $156.5m, accounting for 86 per cent of all revenue. This is a fundamental change for the company, which has previously been more dependent on its consumer broadband business.

The nbn agreement extension contains an initial minimum order commitment of 10,000 High port count DPU units within a period of 18 months following the satisfaction of certain conditions.

NetComm expects initial deliveries of the devices to nbn to occur later in FY19, subsequent to the satisfaction of these conditions which include nbn’s customer acceptance procedures and normal regulatory approvals.

All information at:

https://www.cso.com.au/mediareleases/32751/netcomm-wireless-to-supply-nbn-with-world-first/

MedUX reveals that Spain telecom providers offer outstanding User Experience in FTTH services

Spain is the leading country in fiber deployments in Europe, with a 33.9% of FTTH (Fiber To The Home) penetration rate, after joining around 1.61 million new subscribers between 2016 and 2017, according to a report commissioned by the FTTH European Council, formed by more than 150 companies.

But, how is the User Experience in FTTH offered by telecom providers in Spain? MedUX, which is currently retrieving fixed broadband User Experience metrics, has detected a notable experience in FTTH services.

Our May report on the Fixed Broadband Network Status in Spain, which covers three leading operators in the country, reveals that the performance and experience provided by Spanish FTTH providers is remarkable and it has a consistent behavior.

This strong network performance is defined by a high connection speed, above all for upload and download speeds; a progressive network responsiveness evolution and a potent OTT (Over The Top) service performance (based on Web, Dropbox and YouTube metrics tests).

Aggregated Quality of Experience Indicators for operators during May Source: MedUX Analytics Portal

If you are interested in knowing more or you want to receive a copy of the ‘Fixed Broadband Network Status in Spain’ report, please contact info@caseonit.com.

Original text at https://www.caseonit.com/blog/medux-reveals-that-spain-telecom-providers-offer-outstanding-user-experience-in-ftth-services

Taller Práctico Fundamentos de la tecnología FTTx GPON

Las redes locales pasivas ópticas, basadas en la tecnología GPON, son la base necesaria para la transformación en la INDUSTRIA 4.0.
La aplicación de las comunicaciones por fibra óptica en las redes de área local ofrecen grandes ventajas frente a las redes tradicionales: Ahorro de un 60% en costes de mantenimiento, un 50% menos de espacio, consumo de energía 40% inferior, 50% en costes de instalación de la infraestructura de comunicaciones, y  todo ello al mismo tiempo que ofrece mayor velocidad de datos, interfaz los servicios de voz, datos y vídeo y cubre  distancias de hasta 20 Kilómetros. 

En este taller, de tres días de duración, te proponemos descubrir los conceptos básicos de cada tecnología FTTx a partir de una introducción a los principios arquitectónicos de las redes de acceso.
Durante la segunda parte de la formación los participantes adquirirán más conocimiento sobre las redes ópticas pasivas (PONs).
La formación está orientada para que resulte práctica, una plataforma GPON FTTH será puesta a disposición 
 de los participantes, incluyendo un emulador OLT y un analizador de protocolo GPON.
Además, Los participantes aprenderán a proporcionar servicios (IPTV, VoIP, HSI), verificar su calidad de experiencia y su seguridad.

Fechas: 12,13 y 14 de Junio
Duración: 24 horas. Tres días de formación, prácticas incluidas.
PVP:  2.100€ + IVA/ persona
 

Mínimo 4 asistentes y máximo 12

Contenidos

  • Introduction to FTTx Access Networks                                  
  • Passive Optical Networks
  • GPON Basics
  • GPON Infrastructure in-buildings
  • GPON Essentials
  • Deeping into the protocol: GTC Layer
  • Deeping into the protocol: GPON Encapsulation Method
  • Deeping into the protocol: ONU Management and Control Interface(OMCI)
  • Towards interoperability
  • GPON: The evolution

Más información y registro en:

Taller FTTH GPON