Thursday 14 June 2012
Openreach architects share network vision at Stamford Bridge FTTx event
Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge attracted some of Europe’s best and brightest recently. But visitors weren’t there to see the Champions League winners – they were taking part in a two-day FTTx summit, with George Williamson from Openreach and a wide range of industry luminaries speaking.
The event brought together case studies from across Europe and the Middle East, detailing the different deployment strategies and business models that telecoms and cable operators are using to ensure profitable NGA network roll-outs.
Delegates heard from a range of speakers, including BT, Deutsche Telecom, the FTTH Council Europe, Orange France Telecom, Swisscom, Unet and Vodafone, and had the chance to quiz some of the people at the heart of practical fibre deployments.
One of the key speakers on day one was Openreach strategic network design director George Williamson who spoke about the company’s FTTx deployment experiences. George detailed how Openreach is enabling open access NGA and superfast fibre access and weighed up the mixed economy model. He also explained how Openreach’s latest fibre innovations could enhance cost-effective coverage.
Taking the long-term view
Outlining Openreach’s network vision over the next 5-10 years George explained that its strategic and commercial ambitions are underpinned by a commitment to truly open access. He said that the vision revolved around creating a platform for Openreach and industry innovation providing:
- a competitive business Ethernet portfolio and NGA offering
- the fastest possible speeds in final third – NGA for most, minimum 2Mbit/s for all
- mobile network backhaul
- ability to scale network gracefully with bandwidth to address cloud computing and video-centric demand
And all of this will provide a strong platform that communications providers can build upon with confidence.
Of course, as George stressed, the vision isn’t a committed plan. It’s a framework within which commercial opportunities can be addressed – for Openreach and its customers. To make it a reality, George encouraged all of the groups involved, in particular Openreach’s communications provider customers to get involved in shaping the network vision.
This was the first time Openreach had shared such a long-term view – in contrast to standard customer engagement routes, such as the SRMs, forums and working groups that focused on the short- to medium-term. But George is hoping that by putting it out into the public domain, downstream players will be able to get much more involved in refining and shaping the network vision.
“The network vision is a framework we can assess together,” he explained. “Our customers have a real opportunity to define the future and enable future business value. We need them to be involved and this long-term, broader vision will hopefully help stimulate discussions around the potential of the Openreach platforms.”
Network vision at a glance