In this blogseries, we give the floor to our employees, to share their views on specific topics. In this post, Geneviève describes her personal thoughts after the FTTH EU Conference 2018, in Spain. Enjoy!
Belgium: Yes, high speed internet with Fiber but…
For Philippe Vanhille, Senior Vice President Telecom of Prysmian Group, if we consider Japan as leading reference and consider it at 100%, although still developing its fiber network, we can evaluate other countries fiber maturity by comparison. The United States would be at 60%. Depending the region, European countries would be between 30 and 50 %. With around 17.5 Million Homes passed by FTTH/B and 6 Million subscribers by September 2017, Spain scores high on the FTTH Global ranking. “The Spanish government’s policy and regulatory agenda on fibre, aligned with the objective of the Digital Agenda for Europe, and the continuous work of CNMC, the Spanish telecom regulator have played a major role in the Spanish success story” explains Erzsébet Fitori, Director General of the FTTH Council Europe. The major players, also focussed on quality and collaboration, rather than cost reduction.
Other countries, as France, are developing very fast. However, as states Mr Vanhille, it is important to plan well and in a structured way for this long term investment: “Quality connectivity is crucial not only to enhanced consumer experiences online, but to ensuring competitiveness of the Europe economy. Optical fibre technology sets the standard for high capacity connectivity. We firmly believe that the future of the Telecom infrastructure is about fibre everywhere”.
Looking at the charts, Belgium does not seem to be high on the panel. However this is misleading at least. Our challenge is also that we have a high-quality existing non-fiber distribution network that is being pushed to its maximum capacity every day. A challenge for future fiber developments would be a collaboration between the market players and vision and involvement of the public institutions to facilitate the infrastructure developments throughout the entire country of Belgium.
Challenge of 5G? Standardisation
Sascha Zabransky, New Business Development – IoT, SmartCity & Automotive, A1 Telekom Austria AG, sees 5G as an evolution of the existing framework which will enable new business models, e.g. deployment of massive Internet of things (IoT), broadcast like services or extreme real-time communication services and services with low latency requirements. Bringing together new and additional components with existing infrastructure to deliver a new set of requirements, as enhanced network capacity, a less complex infrastructure and leveraging virtualisation of components and features. The possibilities are immense and they will rely on a strong telecom infrastructure, with Fiber as spine.
Standardisation is one of the big challenges facing 5G. Operators need standards which allow interoperability and backward compatibility with the existing technology framework (4G and 3G/2G). Only deployments based on harmonised operator requirements will make sure that 5G technology is future-proof. Furthermore, we need global economies of scale to roll out efficient networks to benefit operators and customers. (source: http://inside5g.com/5qs-on-5g-
Flexible FTTH hardware, but can software follow?
For the software aspect of FTTH, we noticed many similar solutions at the exhibition. Most of them did not demonstrate a high maturity about handling FTTH during a demo session. Flexibility and interoperability will be the key architecture differentiators?
We also noticed equipment becoming modular, to give more flexibility and room for evolution on the field. However, if software cannot follow this fast evolution of the infrastructure, and be open to other systems, software will be the inhibiting factor.
Geneviève Carton de Wiart
Project Lead at Proximus
Geneviève is Senior Geo-ICT Consultant at Merkator and currently works full-time as Project Lead at Proximus. She worked 10 years for US based Intergraph Corporation, where she successfully covered technical and pre-sales activities in the public sector in Belgium and abroad, and thoroughly contributed to all phases of the A.S.T.R.I.D. project for the delivery of a nationwide calltaking & dispatching solution for the Belgian Federal Police including I/CAD and GeoMedia products. At Proximus she is leading the Merkator team that will integrate the Fiber Backbone Asset data (NIMS) with the FttH data and workflows.