What Makes a Smart Building Smart?

10G is a roadmap to the future for MSOs

By Catherine (Cate) McNaught
Published: October 18, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the landscape of broadband demand as people shifted to remote work, school, and nearly all other daily activities – and Multiple Service Operators (MSOs) overwhelmingly met the moment. They sprang into action, increasing capacity at the edge by adding nodes and making the myriad of other adjustments needed to deliver broadband where and when consumers needed it. The event proved the underlying networks were both robust and adaptable, as the plant and operators delivered on increased demand in an extraordinarily dynamic connectivity landscape.

Defining the next evolution of communication technology

In many ways, the event catalyzed a reframing of both immediate and long-term planning activities, with many operators pulling crisp focus on what the next big leap will need to look like. MSOs, together with their partners in the industry, have a vision for what the connected experience of the future will be and what it can enable. 10G is how the industry is thinking about that future.

Though similar in name, it is not a sequential step in technology generations, like the transition from 4G/LTE to 5G. And while 10G can be thought of as a banner term, it is quite a lot more. 10G is both the “what” and the “how.” At its simplest, 10G means internet speeds that will be 10 times faster than the gigabit speeds of today—all with greater reliability, lower latency, and increased security. It is an extraordinarily well-stocked toolbox of powerful solutions that will enable operators to tackle heterogeneous, often complex migration objectives throughout the network and throughout the foreseeable future.

Given its integrative nature, collaboration throughout the industry will be paramount as operators and their partners put pencil to paper on their long-term evolution strategy. As we embark on making 10G a reality together, a few key principles may serve as a guide.

Considerations as providers plan for 10G

A major consideration when planning for 10G implementation is the heterogeneous nature of the network, which can include anything from both legacy and contemporary hybrid fiber-coax (HFC), to passive optical networks (PON) to wireless. In some ways, 10G will be about homogenizing capability across varied plant. To borrow and to juxtapose two often-cited maxims: boots on the ground tend to remind us that no plan survives first contact. When we engage, we adapt, which will likely be a guiding principle in the years to come as the industry operationalizes 10G across a variety of service areas.

As a direct consequence of the above, the next factor that will likely shape the effort is the increasing importance of collaborative partnerships among service providers, suppliers, distributors, and contractors. Each plays a critical and complementary role, and seasoned operators will anticipate the importance of alignment across these arenas. Through collaboration and the exchange of information, operators can build a 10G plan that can adapt as needed and still meet the objective. This will allow providers to leverage varied plant, multiple architectures and important partnerships as they seek to optimize the investments needed to realize 10G.

From a passive optical perspective, the two biggest considerations involve how to maximize both the capacity of existing fiber plant; and the cost and time efficiencies of investment in new optical plant. Dense Wave Division Multiplexing enables the former, while flexible architectures and labor-reducing optical solutions enable the latter. To consolidate gains generated over the past two decades of large-scale FTTx deployments should mean that any optical plant investment needed for 10G can and ought to be maximally effective and efficient.

Making 10G a reality for all

With best-in-class optical solutions and decades of experience enabling efficient and high-impact communications infrastructure investment, Corning is committed to enabling 10G and is working with operators to meet the challenges ahead.

Corning’s specialty optical fibers are industry-leading, and will be an instrumental tool in the buildout of 10G. We can optimize the optical foundations that will underpin 10G and tailor architectures to each operator’s specific needs.

We work with clients to create systems that meet today’s demands while preparing for tomorrow’s. While 10G is as much a journey as it is an end-state, planning and collaborating now is how we stay ahead of the curve. To that end, Corning is participating in the 10G Challenge, a program from CableLabs that aims to inspire innovators to leverage the emerging 10G network. By defining, planning and preparing for 10G today, MSOs can ensure they are ready to enter the next evolution prepared and ready to deliver.

Catherine (Cate) McNaught manages emerging applications market development at Corning Optical Communications. Throughout her 12 years at Corning Optical Communications, she has held positions in engineering, business development, major account sales, and market development, with notable focus on technology and application evolutions in fiber access networks

Interested in learning more?

Contact us today to learn how our end-to-end fiber optic solutions can meet your needs.

Thank you!

A member of our team will reach out to you shortly.