The demand for faster networks has never been greater. More and more operators are wondering how they might accommodate this -even if it's just in part. As a result, we’re seeing adoption of vectoring and bonding to increase speeds on the ‘last mile’. This technology helps boost copper network capacity from the last distribution point to the end user. But does it actually solve the bigger problem? Yes, it does - at least for the time being. And in addition, it can even help introduce new business models. Let’s take a closer look...
By laying fibre up to a point which is as close as possible to network termination, up to 100 Mb/s can be offered (albeit over relatively short distances). From here, existing copper networks can take over. Vectoring is generally seen as a way to save money on the last mile of FTTx rollouts and leveraging legacy copper infrastructure and in these instances, it has repeatedly proven itself to be a fine, albeit temporary, solution.
Vectoring: a new source of revenue!
Whenever vectoring is mentioned, it is usually linked to FTTx. However, vectoring can also help open new revenue streams for telecom providers by linking Data Centres to the outside world. How does this work? Many Telco companies also operate their own Data Centers, where they aggregate immense amounts of data. When we examine their infrastructure, most of these Data Centres need to be future-proofed. Furthermore, developments such as the rise of ‘big data’ and customer demand for new information and entertainment services are changing the role of Data Centers. These are demanding a huge boost in the capacity of the (fiber) backhaul network and this will continue to grow exponentially.
Until recently, some 80% of Data Center traffic was generated by people using a desktop or laptop computer to access server-hosted applications over the internet or intranet. However, we’re now seeing a massive increase in mobile apps and cloud computing. As a result, there is an upsurge in traffic between servers. As data volumes continue to grow, there is a realistic possibility this will result in bottlenecks and compromised service levels. One of the main drivers of greater data transmission requirements is Television Services (Interactive TV, VOD, Video Conferencing...). 8K Television, for example, requires approximately 350 Mbps.
The telecom industry’s is being pushed towards digital content markets as a result of several factors. Rapidly evolving mobile data technologies, for example, or Web 2.0 technologies, social networking, a growing market for streaming and on-demand broadband video content.
The link between vectoring and the telco Data Center
Vectoring can’t play a role in helping link Data Centers together, or joining up servers within the Data Center. However, for Telcos, Data Centers with powerful content delivery networks are becoming increasingly vital. Vectoring enables the customer to receive HD Video On Demand services. As Telcos aren’t eager to leave this market share entirely to dedicated companies such as Netflix, they need to invest in DC infrastructure so they may also provide these services. Providing new services, which are enabled by high speed residential internet connection (with vectoring being the simplest to deploy), will allow telcos to tap into new revenue streams. Of course, there are some practical and technical consideration that must be taken into account such as ensuring the right Quality of Service policies and traffic scheduling.
New, vital services with Vectoring & Bonding
The competitive environment for telecom providers is rapidly changing. As a result, network operators are exploring new business models outside of beyond delivery of voice and data. The deployment of vectoring can enable Telcos to provide new services, such as video-on-demand to take a significantly larger section of the value chain. Previously, the Data Centres of telcos mainly provided internet connectivity to their customers. Now, however, they are expected to offer new on–demand services, too. Vectoring allows the fast deployment of high speed residential internet. However, just like FTTx, this is a temporary solution, with full-fibre networks as the end goal.
As data volumes in and between Data Centers grow, driven, for example, by changing user behaviours and the arrival of 10G integrating legacy networks may relieve some of the load. Vectoring & Bonding can help realise this, forming a natural link between Data Center infrastructure and outside fiber networks. Although the end goal is still end-to-end full fibre, vectoring is currently acting as a vital enabling technology which allows telco data centers-to offer new, strategically vital services.