Infrastructure is an important cornerstone of economic and social development and a general material condition for the survival and development of society. At present, my country has achieved world-renowned achievements in infrastructure construction such as transportation, energy, and water conservancy, and is accelerating the deployment of “new infrastructure” with information infrastructure, integrated infrastructure, and innovative infrastructure as the main content. Optical fiber is the key physical medium for high-speed and wide-area transmission of information. The broadband optical fiber infrastructure itself is an important part of the construction of new information infrastructure for “sensing, transmission, storage, and computing”. The base of application performance.
” Gigabit optical network ” lays a solid digital foundation
After years of development, my country’s optical fiber infrastructure construction has achieved remarkable results, and has built the world’s largest optical fiber infrastructure covering urban and rural areas and benefiting the public. Statistics show that as of the end of September, the number of Internet broadband access ports nationwide reached 996 million, a year-on-year increase of 6.3%, and a net increase of 49.63 million compared with the end of the previous year. Among them, the number of fiber access (FTTH/O) ports reached 934 million, a net increase of 54.21 million over the end of the previous year, accounting for 93.8%. The total length of national optical cable lines reached 55.43 million kilometers, an increase of 11.2% year-on-year. More than 99% of administrative villages across the country have access to optical fiber, and more than 98% of poor villages have access to broadband.
At present, China’s optical fiber broadband access capacity is mainly based on 100M, and the development of ” gigabit optical network ” is of great significance for giving full play to the scale advantages of China’s optical fiber infrastructure and stimulating the potential of facilities.
From the perspective of upgrade space, the upgrade space of fiber optic infrastructure is huge. Unlike the upgrade of traditional infrastructure such as roads, which is strictly restricted by factors such as physical space, optical fibers can greatly increase the information transmission rate by modulating the amplitude and phase of light waves and multiplexing polarization and wavelength. Once the optical fiber is laid, the upgrade within the tolerance range is basically not restricted by space and other factors. This advantage is especially obvious in the end user access. The upgrade from “100M optical network” to ” Gigabit optical network ” is an overall upgrade after the extensive deployment of China’s optical fiber infrastructure. It will rely on existing access facilities to achieve a tenfold increase in user speed.
From the perspective of network performance, the combination of ” gigabit optical network ” and broadband wireless technologies such as WiFi 6 can achieve a user experience comparable to 5G in terms of speed and delay. ” Gigabit optical network ” can provide gigabit fixed wired and wireless LANs with millisecond and sub-millisecond delays. It has the advantages of stable bandwidth, anti-interference, and tolerance to complex environments. It is suitable for terminal locations in home, office, and industrial scenarios. Relatively fixed and continuous large-traffic transmission requirements are complementary to 5G. Optical network and 5G “dual gigabit” go hand in hand to serve the Internet of Everything.
From the perspective of usage requirements, the upgrading of information consumption and digital transformation put forward practical demands for the construction of ” gigabit optical network “. In the field of life, the development of the mobile Internet platform economy has reshaped the modes of social networking, shopping, express delivery, travel, etc.; live video, streaming media, online games, etc. have been integrated into the lives of residents; IPTV has driven the popularization of high-resolution TV, At present, my country’s IPTV users have reached 340 million; under the influence of the epidemic, Internet education, medical care, and elderly care have developed rapidly; VR/AR-based videos and games have entered family life. “Flow freedom” has become the basic living needs of the majority of residents. With the continuous advancement of digital transformation, more devices and sensors will be connected to the network, and objects and processes in the physical world will be mapped to virtual space in the form of massive data and transmitted through the network, which will further demand network bandwidth.
From an economic point of view, the development of ” gigabit optical network ” will bring about a win-win situation. For consumers, when there is a need for stable and large network traffic (such as tens of megabits per second), ” gigabit optical network ” is cheaper than 5G. For telecom operators, the fiber-optic access infrastructure with high construction costs and long construction period has been basically completed in the stage of FTTH construction. It saves network construction costs and helps operators achieve the goal of “improving quality and speed” and “precisely reducing fees” for enterprises, especially small and medium-sized enterprises. The popularization of ” gigabit optical network ” will also accelerate the formation of “dual gigabit” broadband application innovation industry ecology, and accelerate the formation of a positive cycle of terminal manufacturing and content creation.
Driving fiber optic infrastructure to speed up again
In the next few years, the ” gigabit optical network ” will further increase the coverage of household optical fiber broadband. In recent years, most newly-built residential areas have carried out supporting construction of fiber-to-the-home in accordance with national standards. However, there are still a large number of old urban and rural areas that have adopted the “thin coverage” method. As broadband networks become a rigid demand, these residential areas will also follow the transformation of old urban communities and the construction of “digital villages”, and strengthen the basic facilities of fiber-to-home and the regular (into the ground) transformation of overhead lines. In addition, the number of broadband ports using FTTB+LAN and other methods is still about 64 million. The bandwidth upgrade capabilities of these ports cannot meet the development needs of the Gigabit era, and will gradually be converted to optical fiber ports.
With the accelerated implementation of ” Gigabit optical network “, the optical fiber access of public buildings and enterprise users has become an important development direction. The national standard GB 51433-2020 extends the model of “equal access to multiple telecom service providers, and users can freely choose telecom service providers” to the construction of optical fiber infrastructure in public buildings. In September 2020, five departments including the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology jointly launched a joint rectification action on the broadband access market for commercial buildings, further regulating the broadband access market in commercial buildings, office buildings, parks and other places, and breaking down “obstructions” such as exclusive agreements and high entry fees. At present, the rectification work has achieved remarkable results, and some provinces have cleared the task list.
At the same time, the user’s internal optical fiber network will give full play to the ” gigabit optical network ” effect. Category 5 network cables are widely used in traditional users’ internal network wiring, and it is difficult to carry a transmission rate of more than 100M in the actual deployment state, which limits network performance. Fiber-to-the-home (FTTR) can effectively achieve gigabit coverage in large family homes and leave room for further upgrades later. At present, the three major operators have begun to provide “full Gigabit” services based on “FTTR﹢Whole House WiFi”. In office and industrial scenarios, the enterprise internal all-optical LAN can effectively carry high-bandwidth, low-latency production and office services and reduce enterprise network costs. What needs attention is that when deploying optical fiber networks in scenarios such as factories, hospitals, energy sources, and resource collection, it is necessary to fully consider the severity of environmental conditions to select appropriate network equipment and facilities, and adopt redundant designs to ensure network reliability and stability.
Facing the future, the increase in terminal demand will also drive the upgrade of the entire network. On the one hand, the overall increase in access network traffic demand drives the increase in aggregation, core, backbone network, and data center capacity, and the demand for high-quality network services promotes the reconstruction of optical fiber networks in the direction of cloud-network collaboration, all-optical, and three-dimensional; On the one hand, with the development of the digital economy, the importance of network carrying services increases, and users’ tolerance for network quality problems will decrease. The construction quality of optical fiber infrastructure and the level of intelligent operation and maintenance need to be further improved to lay a solid foundation for the digital economy. The cornerstone of the network, helping the digital transformation of the entire society.