Capital and Operational spend aspects in Cable Operator 10G evolution

By Sudheer Dharanikota, Luc Absillis, Mark Welsko

September 22, 2020

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 challenges. How to evaluate what is right for the operator?

Key Takeaways

Operators need to use a framework that encompasses technological, operational, and financial analysis over a long period, such as the one proposed in this paper. We specifically addressed Total Cost of Ownership based framework in this paper. We recommend operators to develop –

  • Long-term strategic plans
  • Different financial metrics as proposed
  • OpEx versus CapEx implications
  • Short-term decision criteria (such as powering) based on long term plans

Executive Summary

Cable operators are heading to 10G crossroads with different options such as Extended Spectrum DOCSIS, Fiber Deep, and targeted Fiber To The Home. These are multi-billion-dollar strategic investments, both from initial capital overlay (CapEx) and long tail operational overlay (OpEx) points of view. Although making these investments typically depends on where you are with your current state of the network, one wrong move will result in significant regrettable investments over the lifetime of the network.

In the previous papers, presented in 4Q 2019 and 1Q 2020, we explained evaluating different 10G network upgrade options from operational factors angle. In this paper we look at these end-to-end costs from both the capital and the operational spend perspective. This total cost of ownership (TCO) view will reveal very interesting choices that a cable leader will have to make to deploy a sustainable network with the least regrettable investments. We extend the DTS OpEx framework to include the capital spend to create a comprehensive TCO framework. We evaluate different 10G evolution option’s challenges and opportunities using this framework. In the process we will define different TCO metrics that an operator may consider in making such decisions. This paper will make certain recommendations based on the current state of the operator’s access network. As an example, will also consider the TCO economics of deployment of microgrids and non-traditional energy sources in the outside plant to complement the expansion of the systems.

Key Words:  Telecom, Transformation, Strategy