Looking at the challenges and trends in connectivity and interconnections, this blog series introduces solutions powered by 5G and AI that bring benefits for enterprises along the digital transformation journey.
Fiber optics usher in an era of light for campus networks
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By Huawei Enterprise Business Group
Connectivity is a cornerstone for enterprises to succeed, particularly now many operational processes can be done online or via mobile. Campus networks play a critical part in ensuring fast and stable connectivity, however, with the emergence of data-thirsty application such as VR and HD video, conventional copper wiring-based networks can no longer handle the expansion of data needs carried by new techniques such as Wi-Fi 6, and many campus networks lack the agility to transform quickly enough given they are often designed and constructed by campus owners. The introduction of optical fiber is set to redefine the architecture of campus network and bring about benefits that traditional copper wiring networks simply can’t.
Robust Data Demand Drives Changes in Network Architecture
Traditional networks may seem to be adequate, but the exponential growth of data transfer is putting traditional campus networks to the test. In short, copper wiring limits speed and distance – both are critical for an effective campus network. The current deployed copper network can only support 1Gbps and requires recabling if upgraded to higher rate. Additional investment such as signal boosters or rewiring, are needed to maintain network performance if the site is particularly large.
Even so, the addition of signal boosters or recabling does not always mean the network can keep up with data demands. In particular, the evolution of data centers and the acceleration of enterprise cloudification will likely still overwhelm traditional campus networks.
The explosion in demand for high-resolution video streaming has also impacted the needs of campus networks. Intelligent applications, such as facial recognition systems, are emerging on campuses, adding to the already-high video traffic of video conferencing, media streaming, and VR devices.
In addition, the Internet of Things (IoT) is leading to increasing deployments of service robots, intelligent access control, voice devices, and data sensing devices in campuses. While IoT is of significant value to campus networks, it makes the network structure more complex adding even more burden to copper wired networks.
Optical Fiber Runs Fast, Stable Connections at Lower Costs
Unlike other network infrastructure, upgrading a campus network can be costly, especially when re-cabling is required. Campus owners prefer a once-and-for-all upgrade capable of sustaining data loads for the long term. Therefore, organizations are actively looking for solutions which not only offer a leap in network capability but also allow easy management and smooth upgrades to keep the system viable and durable.
An all-optical network brings faster, more stable and always-on connectivity, while capable to meet network evolution requirements and provide sufficient bandwidth for new services for the next 30 years, as the International Telecommunication Union suggests.
Furthermore, an all-optical network is architecturally simple, saving valuable space and reducing total cost of ownership (TCO). Operations and maintenance (O&M) costs can also be minimized, as only one person is required to maintain an entire campus network.
Huawei Campus OptiX Addresses the Challenges
Huawei Campus OptiX comes with all the necessary features built-in, making it an ideal solution for campuses. It uses fibers for campus networks and innovatively integrates the advantages of the Passive Optical LAN (POL) all-optical networking architecture and IP network technology to provide a simplified campus network experience. It is particularly suitable for campuses with large areas, dense populations, a wide range of services, and complex network systems. These typically include airports, educational institutions, hotels, and large offices.
The solution comes with industry-leading ultra-broadband, where Huawei’s OptiXaccess OLT platform supports 50G PON, breaking the rate bottleneck and supporting long-term network evolution. The capacity of flagship core switches for campus networks is six times that of similar devices from other vendors, enabling smooth, all-optical evolution for the long term.
It is environment-friendly, consuming 30% less power and can reduce carbon footprint by 50%, using passive instead of active devices. Its network runs on a wide bandwidth with 40 km long-distance coverage and is immune to magnetic interference and corrosion. Service life is also extremely long at 30 years helping to reduce TCO vastly.
More than 600 enterprise customers in 40 countries are using the Huawei Campus OptiX solution for high-quality campus networks, fueling digital transformation in a wide array of sectors. In the United Arab Emirates, for example, Huawei has deployed 10G-PON Campus OptiX solution for Emaar Projects to build a smart community at Dubai Creek Harbour.
Moreover, in June 2019, Huawei participated in the preparation and release of China’s first Passive Optical LAN Engineering Technical Standard, promoting the development of the all-optical industry. The establishment of the Optical Network Alliance also highlights the contribution of Huawei, which was appointed as its first director-general.
With the Campus OptiX solution, Huawei is more than just replacing copper wires with optical fibers in campuses around the world. It is also a commitment as a trusted partner to grow together with customers in an innovative way.