Today, most businesses don’t need any convincing argument about how digital transformation can enhance their agility. The pressing question is how to onboard more and more consumers and how to provide improve service through differentiated offerings.
Given the pivotal role of networks in this era of cloud-powered enterprise, low-cost-per bit is central to creating digital transformation. This imperative is equally applicable from edge of the network to the core, as well the very data center that fuels services.
The need for low-cost-per-bit at the Edge of Network
As applications are quizzing the network, demand for bandwidth is growing. Multi-media transport is a reality today and with that reality is the need for faster response time. Service providers are now baffled with a two-prone challenge: How to improve differentiated service with faster response time and reduce the cost to service. Consumers are demanding better service at relatively cheaper price points for multi-media payload that fuels their need to stay connected, pushing the Petabytes of data to Internet that traverse through various service provider networks. The age-old infrastructure of service provider is simply inadequate to accommodate this demand for more bandwidth. Couple this with the traffic generated by billions of connected devices. Get the picture?
Welcome to the dawn of Zetabyte era! “If each petabyte in a zettabyte were a centimeter it would mean one can reach 12 times higher than world’s tallest tower Burj Khalifa”.
Accommodating this pressing need for bandwidth means opening up the clogged pipe at the wireless and wired edge and web-scale network performance at the Edge of Network. There is no better technology than “Ethernet” and “Fiber” to open up clogged pipe at wired and Wireless Edge.
Unchoking Wireless Edge
You heard it right, wireless network across the globe is getting a shot in the arm as service providers are upgrading the first choking block where your wireless traffic runs down the tower to meet wired pipe. Perhaps you too have experienced this change to some extent while browsing Internet or watching YouTube video, there is no screeching halt or buffering of app in your smartphone. While this experience may be limited to users of certain service providers, work is underway for all tiers of providers to unchoke their wireless edge. It is a dire need of their business.
When your data rides over RF frequency from your cell phone to reach the antenna of your mobile provider, it undergoes digitization at an “analog to digital” conversion device known as RRH (Radio Remote Head). From there, the bitstreams run down the pipe to meet its first transport gateway of packetization known as Baseband Unit or short BBU. Up until this point, the network is known as fronthaul.
Figure 1. Typical fronthaul and backhaul Network architecture
Unleashing the power of open networking at Wireless Edge
Figure 2. Whitebox Cell Site Router or DCSG (Disaggregated Cell Site Router) Architecture.
Figure 3. Typical Ring topology of interconnect for mobile backhaul.
Passive Optical Network for Wireless Edge
Figure 4. Mixed Traffic PON for MBH and fixed line services.
In figure 4, a typical example of mixed traffic PON deployment is shown. There can be two types of OLT deployments using whitebox solutions: whitebox OLT device and whitebox Ethernet switch with OLT transceivers.
For the first, OLT functions are realized through virtualized solution known as VOLTHA. In this scenario, mixed traffic from MBH, residential and enterprises are carried over single fiber depending upon split ratio. Typical split ratio is 1:32 meaning 32 ONUs can be connected to single incoming fiber. For the second solution, OLT transceivers can be used with standard whitebox ethernet switch. These OLT transceivers are available in SFP+ form factor making it easier to plug it in a 10GbE SFP+ port socket of the whitebox switch. OLT functions can be virtualized with VOLTHA or it can be implemented in the Ethernet switch itself. IP Infusion, a leader of independent NOS (Network Operating System) for whitebox platform, implements OLT functions through a container within its OcNOS™ software. Third-party OMCI stack that provides OLT functionalities can be integrated within OcNOS container for which Netconf API provides EMS (Element Management System) based configuration and management capabilities including provision of ONUs.
Solutions such as these reduce overall TCO for operators and offers the choices and benefits of open networking. Low-cost-per-bit is essential today for operators to improve service and maximize ROI.
- Cisco, 2016. The Zettabyte Era Officially Begins (How Much is That?). Available at https://blogs.cisco.com/sp/the-zettabyte-era-officially-begins-how-much-is-that
- Lightwave, 2018. Telecom Infra Project targets disaggregated cell site gateways. Available at https://www.lightwaveonline.com/articles/2018/10/telecom-infra-project-targets-disaggregated-cell-site-gateways.html .
- Microsemi, 2019. 5G LTE Base stations. Available at https://www.microsemi.com/applications/5g-mobile-infrastructure/5g-lte-base-stations .
- Techplayon, 2017. 5G NR gNB Logical Architecture and Its Functional Split Options. Available at http://www.techplayon.com/5g-nr-gnb-logical-architecture-functional-split-options/