China gears up for fiber-based broadband technology

18 Jul 2008

Fiber-based broadband technology is gaining traction in China, as broadband operators are looking at optical passive networking (PON) as the next logical step to meet the bandwidth demand for video and voice applications.

Jeffery Gao, SVP of network marketing department at Huawei Technologies, said that although China is lagging behind Japan and Korea in FTTx deployment, the nation's two major fixed-line operators have been pushing aggressively in FTTB and FTTH network rollouts since last year, with plans to provide three million lines of each by end of 2008.

He said PON/FTTx is picking up very fast in China and expected that most of new broadband networks launched in the next three years will be based on PON/FTTx.

With strong government incentives to deploy high-speed broadband services, the decreasing cost of fiber optics and the technological advantages of fiber technology over copper technology is also helping to drive the adoption of PON/FTTx, he said.

In China Gao said it's easy to deploy fiber because of low labor cost and PON provides a cost-effective solution for carriers with its ability to serve large customer bases with very small equipment footprints.

One of the major challenge broadband operators face when using PON/FTTx, however, is re-architecturing the network and issues related to network maintenance, engineering and training of staff.

As such, he noted, broadband operators will be increasing looking for vendors that have the ability to provide turnkey solutions, from equipment to network planning, maintenance and service consultancy.

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