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TIP launches new Open Fixed Access Networks sub-group

The Telecom Infra Project has set up an Open Fixed Access Networks sub-group, which includes Telefonica, TIM and Vodafone as members.

The purpose of the Open Fixed Access Networks group, which is itself seemingly a sub-group of TIP’s Fixed Broadband Project Group, is apparently to ‘define a new approach to building open and disaggregated fixed access networks’. It’s described as a collaboration between major industry players, and so far Telefonica, TIM and Vodafone have been named as said players.

More specifically, the sub-group is concerning itself with improving ‘interoperability and diversity in the access network, accelerating innovation through modernisation of operations and deployment architectures, and boosting capacity in the last mile through transition from GPON to XGS-PON.’ The overall objective for all this is to drive the deployment of open, disaggregated and interoperable access technologies.

“In Vodafone, we see that openness and disaggregation are key principles that allow us to build the flexible and agile network we need to support our evolving customer needs,” said Bruno Cornaglia, Fixed Access Senior Manager at Vodafone. “Our work in this area complements similar work elsewhere in the network, for example with OOPT and OpenRAN, and we’re excited that this project will help realize these same benefits in the fixed access network.”

Paolo Pellegrino, Access Innovation Project Manager at TIM added: “The disaggregation of OLTs represents a valuable opportunity to broaden the telecoms supply chain, which we’ve seen has become more important than ever during recent times. TIM is excited about the opportunities to work with a new generation of hardware and software suppliers who can bring innovative solutions that will help us build more cost-effective and efficient networks.”

Jose Torrijos Gijon, Technology Expert, Telefonica GCTIO said: “At Telefonica we fully support this new project as the next step towards the commercialisation and deployment of technologies based on robust and mature industry standards. Ultimately we believe the Open Fixed Access Networks project will play a critical role in the adoption of new technologies and new services as we prepare for the next stage of evolution in our access networks”.

We’re told the next step is the operators will develop their first use case which they are calling a ‘pizza box’ OLT, which will be deployed in a local exchange environment. We’re told they then ‘expect to issue an RFI to establish the technical capability and readiness of suppliers to deliver such a solution later in 2022, with test and validation of the most suitable solutions to follow.’ Which appears to be a convoluted way of saying they’ll start trials this year.

 

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