GPON technology is increasingly popular as operators seek to leverage the cost and performance benefits it affords. However, adding a new component to the legacy network mosaic isn’t entirely straightforward. There are network planning and inventory challenges to overcome – and accurate, effective registration is key.
Deploying GPON passive optical networks bring clear advantages but optimizing performance is challenging. Here’s what to keep in mind
While (GPON) technology is a cost-effective option for network operators seeking to bring Fiber to the Home (FTTH) by covering the “last mile” with a single strand that delivers high Internet speeds to multiple end users, making the technology work in practice is challenging.
That’s mainly because there are more component parts within the GPON network’s jigsaw puzzle and that means more to register correctly and more to track at the outset. This makes network inventory registration far more demanding. Yet getting it right is often overlooked.
In fact, demanding enough that while the underlying GPON technology is straightforward, pulling everything together in a way that allows operators to manage their GPON networks optimally isn’t so simple to accomplish. The result of neglecting to address this step adequately is serious: a breakdown in performance often occurs due to a failure of network inventory registration, the diverse requirements of which legacy OSS solutions struggle to cope with, at least within a single system.
From “jigsaw puzzle” to unified view
To some extent, this is a familiar problem for network operators who in many domains (including and beyond OSS) utilize multiple incomplete solutions deployed over different periods of time to create unified pictures of performance. In most cases, these disparate elements are not adequately synchronized with each other. Together, they form what’s known in the industry as “spaghetti”. A technical term, to be sure – but one that does nearly illustrate the tangle mess that could result from failure to ensure synchronization.
When it comes to process automation (where a project revolves around inventory and the accuracy of its data), that’s a problem, even before it’s exacerbated by GPON build-out. Designing and activating a service, managing capacity, troubleshooting and more are difficult or impossible to optimize if a service path can’t be clearly viewed. Operators must have a clear, accurate picture of inventory that allows them to compare and reconcile inventory data with live network data.
Getting GPON passive optical networks right; not just “right now”
The pressing impetus to deploy GPON and accrue its commercial benefits heightens the problem and, as operators shift to building out GPON networks as quickly as they can strategies for registration often take a back seat meaning that once operational, things can get worse rather than better. In the rush to go live, performance management of the new network, at least at the time, often risks becoming a second thought. That, predictably, creates issues down the line.
These interoperability challenges can’t be ignored because doing so risks negatively impacting customer experience, increasing inventory costs, affecting OPEX and CAPEX, and delaying time-to-revenue.
So, what is needed to meet the GPON registration challenge? The answer to that question is straightforward; a single-system GPON (or any other type of PON) network registration solution operational from the word “go”. To understand why, consider the barriers to optimal performance such a technology would overcome.
Multiple sources with independent requirements for registration
The unified, single system approach is needed because, as noted, GPON network inventory registration is complex and wide-ranging. It requires aggregating information from a wide range of original sources, each of which has distinctive aspects that need to be individually tracked. At the highest level, operators need to consider:
- Active network registration
- Passive networks registration
- ODFs, patch-panels
- Physical Network Inventory registration
- Fiber, OSP, GIS
- Physical equipment
- Physical connections
- Logical Network Inventory registration
- Logical connections
- Customer services
- Relationship to other networks, such as:
- MPLS (physical, logical, customer services)
- Telephone number management
- Network Auto Discovery and Reconciliation function
- Service Fulfilment
Optimal performance with VC4-IMS Network Planning and Network Inventory
Registration is a key function of inventory management – if something isn’t registered properly, then it can’t be included in the inventory – and cannot, therefore, be managed correctly.
The challenge then, is for operators to identify and deploy a network planning and inventory system that can integrate with the GPON Network Management System (NMS) and/or Network Equipment (NE) to keep the GPON network performing optimally. VC4-IMS Network Planning and Network Inventory does exactly this.
For those who’d like to learn more, we’d recommend downloading VC4’s comprehensive Guide to managing PON investments to maximize efficiency and returns. Taking the broad requirements of optimal registration listed in this blog (above) as a starting point, the guide provides a detailed understanding of the specific requirements within each category, and there are many.
To download the Guide, please click here. VC4’s solutions help operators to plan and manage their network investments efficiently and effectively via solutions that span across their entire infrastructure and grow with the business.
Built and deployed for over 20 years, VC4 has developed and delivers a complete OSS suite with all functionalities available in a single application. All the GPON registration functionality noted in this blog is available in its VC4-IMS Network Planning and Network Inventory system.