A major obstacle in the path of cable operators reliably and efficiently delivering gigabit-plus services to businesses and consumers is the current complexity of their networks. After years of providing bandwidth expansions through necessary but sometimes inefficient service group segmenting, resulting in difficult-to-manage amplifier cascades and overcrowded headends, many MSOs must now deal with unwieldy and unmanageable infrastructures.
Fiber Deep initiatives have emerged as major weapons in the battle to tame the runaway complexity and operational cost of today’s HFC infrastructures, chiefly by pushing the optical-to-electrical conversion as close to the customer as possible. The elimination of amplifiers and other power-hungry actives helps to reduce the complexity and cost of the overall HFC infrastructure, as well as provide subscribers with faster services by decreasing service group size. An added benefit of moving to a Node+0 architecture is that it better positions cable operators to deliver fiber-only services, such as PON and RFoG, to homes and businesses in the future.
The addition of optical nodes is accompanied by the need to install additional RF management equipment into already overcrowded headends. ATX’s MAXNET, MAXNET II and SignalOn RF management solutions offer the highest densities in the industries, enabling MSOs to conserve precious headend rack space.
Cable operators are also moving from analog to digital optics to push fiber deeper into their networks. Digital optics are more efficient than analog optics, and keeping data and video signals in the digital realm all the way to the optical nodes improves signal performance and allows for additional wavelengths to be provisioned over existing fiber, as well as increasing the operational efficiency of the network by eliminating active infrastructure equipment, including repeaters. In short, digital optics significantly extends the wavelength provisioning capacity of fiber links, as well as the distance of those links. ATX’s Gigawave DLX digital optics solution enables MSOs to adopt fiber deep solutions that support a move to a distributed architecture and improve the performance and cost efficiency of their networks.
ATX’s Fiber Deep Solution Benefits
- Reduce network complexity through reduction of amplifiers and other actives
- Enables cable operators to retain and use familiar HFC tools and applications
- Better positions operators to deliver future FTTX services
- Leverages digital optics to extend the reach and wavelength-provisioning capacity of existing fiber
- Accommodates increased requirement for RF management technology through high-density equipment that conserves precious headend rack space