Powering the future 10G access networks – An End to End Perspective

By Rajesh Abbi, Sudheer Dharanikota

March 30, 2020

What is the Problem?

Cable operators are going through major transformational changes. Every aspect of the access network evolution (starting from the strategy, to planning, to permitting, and to the execution) in these challenging times are very complex. How are the powering options are evaluated from financial, architectural and operational points of view from both the inside plant and the outside plant powering impacts?

Key Takeaways

We made following recommendations for power architect in our earlier paper:

  • Align with your company’s access strategy
  • Consumption is not the only metric you need to optimize
  • Plan long-term powering solutions before making the short-term next steps

Based on the end to end access discussion in this paper, we make these additional recommendations:

  • Include end-to-end operational factor analysis
  • Note that the ISP and the OSP incentives can be different
  • Remember that virtualization does not necessarily mean the costs are eliminated

Executive Summary

The quest for 1G and 10G networks is forcing cable operators to innovate both in the outside plant (OSP) and the inside plant (ISP) technologies. Some of these are OSP levers such as extending the spectrum, fiber deep technologies etc. Similar evolution is happening on the ISP through the introduction of DOCSIS 3.1, 4.0 and talk about the future DOCSIS 5.0 technologies. Different architectures are being evaluated to carry the petabytes of data being generated on these access networks – including the enhanced optical access to virtualizing the CMTS.


These access strategies are being analyzed from the long-term planning points of view to support the customer demand and to support a competitive product offering. In this paper we evaluate the impact of these access evolution strategies on key operational factors points of view that are often overlooked during initial analysis. In an earlier paper we proposed a framework to evaluate transformation options for Outside Plant (OSP) network access powering solutions from an architectural, financial and operational perspective. In this paper we extend the framework to also include Inside Plant (ISP) operational factors such as power, cooling and rack-space requirements. In addition, we propose some of the metrics that can be used to compare different end-to-end solutions.

Our goal in this paper is to develop a framework that can be used by network operators to evaluate the end-to-end operational impacts of their access network evolution strategies.

Key Words: ISP, OSP, Financial Metrics, Operational Metrics, Architectural Metrics, Powering, Cable Operators