Speaking on the release of “GPON vs. DOCSIS 3.1 in Six Simple Points” – which coincides with the second day of FTTH Conference 2017 – Iskratel’s Chief Architect Simon Cimzar said there is an increasing number of considerations that operators must make when looking to upgrade their existing networks.
He also insisted the customer should always be number one – which might mean that cable operators which don’t deploy fiber might be left behind.
“In the current market, cable operators are faced with an increasing number of competitors offering fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) broadband services through gigabit-capable Passive Optical Networks (GPON),” said Cimzar. “By using the DOSCIS 3.0 standard today, operators can theoretically offer gigabit services in the downstream, but find themselves limited by the upstream throughput it provides.
“This leaves operators with the quandary of whether to remain with the standard coax network and upgrade to the newer DOCSIS 3.1 standard, or make the leap and become FTTH operators themselves.”
Iskratel’s Chief Architect acknowledged that operators must perform a balancing act when choosing between the two options, a decision which the white paper further explores.
“The main question operators must ask themselves is whether the service disruptions of the move make changing from the coax network to a fiber-based solution unfeasible,” said Cimzar. “There are many facets to this decision, but the business motivation is clear. Fiber deployments come at a lower Total Cost of Ownership and provide a better return on the initial investment than DOCSIS 3.1, which can be migrated to at the same cost but requires further, continued investment.“
Another important factor to bear in mind is the potential for symmetrical upload and download speeds that GPON offers – something which isn’t possible with cable.
“Once you take into account the higher ongoing maintenance costs, smaller range of services offered and disruptive migration to DOSCIS 3.1, it becomes clear that GPON provides an option that makes sense for businesses and end-users alike.”
Cimzar concluded with a rallying call to cable operators, stating that whatever the business justifications for making the switch to GPON, the opinion of the customer will always be key.
“Customers’ perception is simple: fiber is the future,” he added. “Cable operators are at a crucial juncture when it comes to network evolution and those who try to move forward without fiber may find themselves being left behind.”