Powering the future 10G access networks

By Rajesh Abbi, Sudheer Dharanikota

September 24, 2019

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?

Key Takeaways

We recommend the following steps be taken by the operators and the standards forums –

  •   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

Executive Summary

Demand growth and competitive pressures are changing the access networks at a rapid pace.  To keep up with these changes, the network operators are looking at several technology options to expand capacity from current sub-1Gig up to 10Gig in the near future.  In addition, there are other demands arising on the network from new businesses as well as mobile backhaul services (such as, small cell, macro cell and 5G evolution).

While a lot of work has gone into exploring the transmission technologies to support these growing demands, this is only the necessary first step.  Most network upgrade actions will have a major impact on the network powering requirements.  The network operators need to plan and prepare for such changes.

In this paper, we discuss some of the expected powering impacts of the upcoming network upgrades including node-splits, fiber-deep, mid-split, high-split, extended-spectrum DOCSIS and full-duplex DOCSIS on the outside plant network. We will also evaluate some of the powering requirements coming from the new opportunities.

Finally, network operators are facing a daunting challenge of continuously evolution the access network.  There are many upgrade paths operators can take over the next few years.  Although, this paper is not focused on evaluating the upgrade options, we will discuss how such rapid access network changes impact long-term powering solutions. We provide different financial, operational and life-time (or obsolescence) metrics for the operators in evaluating different powering solutions.

Key Words: Power architectures, power solution metrics, architectural metrics, operational metrics, financial metrics