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Huawei SingleFAN Pro Full-Fiber Access Network Reshapes Premium UHD & Cloud VR Service Experience

Cao Changyang, Huawei
Partner Perspectives
Cao Changyang, Huawei
6/6/2019
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Over the past 50 years, the development of communications and information services has been accelerating, and the emergence of broadband and video drives carriers to continuously upgrade their technologies. During this period, telecom carriers have experienced the copper line era of POTS, ADSL, and VDSL2a, and have now entered the full-fiber era of GPON and 10G PON. In addition, MSOs have completed the transformation from traditional analog and digital TV services to Triple-play full-services using DOCSIS 1.x/2.0/3.0/3.1 technologies.

Currently, the emergence of killer services such as 4K UHD video and Cloud VR is driving carriers' networks to meet the requirements of ultra-large bandwidth, ultimate experience, and ubiquitous coverage. This era is called the fifth-generation fixed broadband era. Traditional coaxial networks of MSOs, however, are constrained by insufficient spectrum resources, limited uplink bandwidth, poor line quality, lack of multi-service capabilities, and uncertain future evolution directions. As a result, the networks cannot fully meet requirements of the new era. Therefore, MSOs are actively exploring how to transform their networks to full-fiber networks. Huawei believes that the full-fiber architecture based on symmetric 10G PON technologies is the best network construction choice for MSOs in the new era. Therefore, at ANGACOM2019, Huawei launches the SingleFAN Pro solution for the access network facing the new era.

SingleFAN is an access network brand proposed by Huawei for the first time in 2009 and has experienced SingleFAN, SingleFAN 2.0, SingleFAN 3.0, Cloud FAN and today's SingleFAN Pro. FAN covers three important meanings: full-fiber connectivity, ultra-high bandwidth, and ultimate experience. Full-fiber connectivity means optical connections extended from homes to rooms, from offices to desktops, and from factories to machines. Ultra-high bandwidth means quick bandwidth increase from 1 Gbit/s to 10 Gbit/s. Ultimate experience means zero packet loss, zero jitter, and µs-level latency. Huawei SingleFAN Pro solution is applicable to all scenarios and all services.

Carriers' video service evolution: evolution from SD to HD to 4K UHD and to 3D immersive experience in future
Currently, more than 80 Telcos, MSOs, and OTT operators in the world have launched 4K UHD services, with near 200 UHD channels, and that number is still increasing at a rate of 38% year on year. At the same time, 4K UHD is flourishing in Europe. For example, success cases, such as the FTTH+4K town in Kassel, Germany and the 4K bars in Spain and Russia, indicate that 4K UHD has gradually made its way beyond homes. A large number of content items, platforms, and terminal vendors have joined the industry, facilitating the prosperity of the UHD video industry in Europe and making it one of the key drivers for continuous innovations in the ICT industry.

The future evolution direction of the video service will be the 3D immersive experience era represented by Cloud VR. It is predicted that by 2025, global VR/AR users will reach 440 million. The Cloud VR service allows for lightweight and affordable headsets by using cloud rendering. This will facilitate the wide application of VR services and maximize carriers' network advantages. Therefore, Cloud VR will be an inevitable choice for carriers to provide VR services. In the future, the business scenarios and models of Cloud VR will be increasingly clear: education, games, IMAX, live broadcast, and social networking, and others, will be major home VR services; industries, such as education, healthcare, and tourism will be major business service scenarios of Cloud VR. The construction of carriers' 5G networks can further promote the extension of Cloud VR in multiple other industries. Therefore, Cloud VR services will be a huge market opportunity for Telco and MSOs in Europe.

The full-fiber network based on symmetric 10G PON is the basis for MSOs to provide 4K UHD video and Cloud VR services.
UHD video and Cloud VR interactive services pose high requirements on peak information rate, latency, and network stability. Huawei believes that, for a plan that includes 4K UHD services, 100 Mbit/s is just the minimum bandwidth, and the access latency must be within 20 ms. For a plan that includes Cloud VR services, the bandwidth must be at least 1 Gbit/s, and the access latency must be within 8 ms. To meet these requirements, carriers' networks need to provide gigabit broadband. In addition, it is recommended that the traditional coaxial networks of MSOs be gradually transformed into full-fiber networks.

First, the traditional coaxial networks of MSOs use the analog signal transmission architecture, it is difficult to improve the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), and the uplink spectrum resources are insufficient. As a result, MSOs cannot provide strong-interaction services, such as multi-screen, video socializing, and 2B services. Second, in the current modulation order, one QAM channel supports a maximum of one 4K UHD channel. As a result, the spectrum resources will be overwhelmed by 4K video services, not to mention Cloud VR services. This will undermine the market competitiveness of MSOs. Third, coaxial networks can be affected by many factors. The network quality cannot guarantee the long-term stable experience for high-bandwidth, strong-interaction, and delay-sensitive services, resulting in high O&M costs.

Based on symmetric 10G PON full-fiber networks, the Huawei SingleFAN Pro solution is dedicated to building an optimal bearer network for MSOs to provide superb UHD video and Cloud VR service experience, and obviously outperforms traditional coaxial solutions. First, symmetric 10G PON has sufficient spectrum. The upstream and downstream bandwidths can reach 10 Gbit/s, and the upstream bandwidth is six times that of DOCSIS3.1, which effectively supports symmetric high-bandwidth scenarios such as Cloud VR. In potentially fast development scenarios with a small number of UHD and Cloud VR users in the initial phase, Huawei launches the Flex-PON2.0 solution, which integrates 6-mode capabilities such as GPON, 10G PON, and TWDM PON on one board. Carriers only need to replace the corresponding optical modules and enable the capacity license during a network upgrade, without changing the ODN or replace boards. This achieves smooth evolution of the access network in the next 5 to 10 years and protects long-term investment. Second, Huawei provides the industry's most powerful OLT, which supports up to 16,000 concurrent Cloud VR users and channel switching within one second and provides the unique DBA scheduling optimization algorithm to reduce the upstream network delay from ONTs to OLTs to less than 100 microseconds, effectively supporting delay-sensitive services of large-scale users and greatly expanding service boundaries. The ONT on the terminal side supports the 4x4 MIMO technology and the rate of Wi-Fi air interfaces reaches 2.1 Gbit/s, meeting the bandwidth requirements for superb VR experience. The 2.4 GHz+5 GHz dual-band binding and packet retransmission algorithm on the ONT ensure that the delay of VR data streams is shorter than 7 ms and the packet loss rate of Cloud VR services is almost 0.

Currently, 115 carriers in 49 countries have launched gigabit full-fiber services. Using optical fibers to carry IP-based UHD video and Cloud VR services has become an inevitable trend. According to “Access Network Market Overview” from OVUM, 10G GPON OLT ports are forecast to grow from 385,000 ports in 2019 to over 6.6 million ports in 2024; CAGR (2019-24) of 77%.

Figure 1: Next Generation OLT PON port shipment forecast
Figure 1: Next Generation OLT PON port shipment forecast

In addition, Huawei's gigabit full-fiber network based on the NG PON technology reduces the reliance of MSOs on traditional CCAP for providing broadband and video services. Compared with the traditional CCAP solution, Huawei's solution reduces the equipment room footprint by 75% and has power consumption which complies with the EU's CoC V6 certification. The powerful functions and environment friendliness demonstrate Huawei's technological strengths and social responsibilities.

Huawei is committed to building simplified bearer networks for providing gigabit broadband access, superb UHD and Cloud VR experience, and ubiquitous multi-service connectivity. In addition, Huawei is looking forward to cooperation with industry players, including European MSOs, to build a mature UHD industry ecosystem and provide users with ultimate experience.

— Cao Changyang, Head of Access Marketing Support Module, Huawei

This content is sponsored by Huawei.

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