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Fiber-rich business model will transform telecom industry

The traditional wireline telecom industry is embarked on a slow transformation from a heavy metal band of players to a fiber-light set who want to offer better services and more efficiency with less energy consumption, speakers at Genband’s Perspectives15 Partners Conference said.

“Copper networks have been around for 100 years; no one’s complaining,” said Sampath Sowmynarayan, senior vice president of business transformation at Verizon during an address at the conference.

No one, that is, except for the telcos themselves, who are challenged by both cable operators targeting their small-medium business (SMB) customers; some enterprises; and a new breed of faster over-the-top (OTT) players with more agile and aggressive offerings that run on top of broadband networks.

Verizon, Sowmynarayan said, has begun to migrate copper-heavy central offices to fiber in a move that started when its Manhattan operation was swamped by Superstorm Sandy. When rebuilding that entire operation, Verizon was faced with a dilemma: abandon the old copper-based infrastructure or deploy fiber.

“How can you have a central office without any copper?” Sowmynarayan asked.

By necessity. That facility was Verizon‘s first foray into a copper-less CO. Verizon also realized some benefits: equipment consolidation freed up expensive Manhattan real estate for other uses—such as renting it out—and fewer devices consumed less energy; about 60 percent less to be exact.

That first site demonstrated that a fiber-rich business model could work in Verizon facilities, he said, because fiber is “more reliable than copper” and less equipment means less money spent on driving and cooling racks of switching gear.

Energy conservation, certainly not something exclusive to telcos, is a big concern going forward, probably more so because, unlike cable operators who already have relatively modernized networks, the telcos have literally been around 100 years and so has some of their installed equipment.

Telecommunications is the “biggest power hog in the world” said Genband CEO-Chairman David Walsh.

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Source: CED Magazine

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