Cable Operator Operational Considerations To Reach 10G Access Networks

By  Sudheer Dharanikota, Luc Absillis, Rajesh Abbi

July 19, 2021

What is the Problem?

Cable operators are racing towards 10G capable access networks. There are multiple paths to reach the end goal, each posing different operational challenges. How to evaluate operationally suitable option for the operator’?

Key Takeaways

Operators need to evaluate if they can execute on the access transformation plan. This needs careful evaluation of the labor and material needs due to the plan. To gain the operational confidence, we recommend that operators adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Start with proper resource forecasting
  • Remember to do integrated planning
  • Optimize deployment and maintenance
  • Define and manage to the metrics

Executive Summary

Cable operators have many options to reach their target 10G platform rollouts [1]. These options need to be evaluated against the current state of their networks and the three dimensions related to their access evolution – their financial, architectural, and operational constraints. In our previous paper [2] we discussed in detail the financial considerations of the 10G transformation. We provided the cable industry many documents on the architectural choices in migrating to the target 10G access [3], [5], [6], [7], [8]. In this paper, we discuss the equally important third dimension, the operational considerations in 10G access transformations.

The operational analysis is essential for the access transformation planning, which answers the basic question – can we execute the proposed transformation plan with minimal risk? The execution, as opposed to many operational plans, should include both the commonly considered deployment and rarely considered maintenance. The operational plan mainly includes labor and material resource planning. The fundamental question in labor planning is “can we execute the plan efficiently?” The question in material analysis includes “is the availability of the newer technologies stable enough to be deployed on a large scale?” These operational considerations are presented in the paper.

Managing the in-house and contract labor resources can be very challenging. All labor resources need to be planned thoroughly and must be managed through a suitable organizational structure for their efficient use. In addition to the operational considerations, we discuss some of the planning challenges along with some mitigation options using example scenarios. We will show how the use of integrated planning (brownfield, greenfield, overlay, business etc.)  – including end-to-end labor considerations (both deployment and maintenance) – is essential while planning for these resources.

In summary, in this series of articles that we provided in the SCTE Technical Journal, we make the case that the access transformation must be evaluated from the financial, architectural, and operational points of view.

Key Words: Labor, material, efficiency, deployment and maintenance