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  • María Belén Gómez

Fiber optic networks and 5G






Fiber optics is the medium that creates converged networks. Because fiber optic networks enable the fixed network and 5G high-speed mobile communications to dovetail. A convergent view of these two infrastructures opens up potential for synergies and reduces planning, civil engineering and material costs.


Autonomous driving, Industry 4.0 or smart living: The basis of a gigabit society is a powerful, reliable and scalable communication structure. The basic components for this are a fixed network that needs to be based on fiber optics and a fast cellular network, also with fiber optic connection.


But how can construction costs be reduced and how can the two networks be efficiently interconnected?


Strategic planning determines the costs of fiber-optic networks for 5g


During the planning process, general questions arise about where, how and why. Let's look at some of the most common questions:


  • Where are the points of need for fixed and mobile communications for a fiber optic connection?

  • Where is civil work needed for fiber optic expansion?

  • Where can infrastructure that is already in place be used?

  • Where are there suitable locations or alternative carrier infrastructure to leverage to make the 5G antennas?




Is the expansion worthwhile, what are the cost factors, and are there other viable alternatives?

The use of intelligent planning software that considers converged fiber optic networks. This in combination with the use of geographic information throughout the planning process provides answers.


Possibilities for GIS-based planning software


Regardless of whether the specific locations for 5G antennas are already fixed at the time of planning or are still unknown: convergent planning lays the foundation for building sustainable, high-performance communication networks thanks to fiber-optic networks.


Assuming that the points required for 5G carrier infrastructures are already known in advance. If this is the case, fiber optic networks can be planned directly in a convergent manner using configurable network concepts. It can be defined at which network level (distribution network, main cabling network, backbone network) the 5G demand point is to be integrated according to which rules.


However, if the demand points of the 5G carrier infrastructures are still unknown, the planning for the connection can be used to take into account the planned reserves in the network concept for the further expansion of 5G. For this purpose, reserve infrastructures can be provided for in the individual network levels and additional fiber capacities can be planned for possible antenna locations. In this case the connection requires further infrastructure that the company needs to install in advance and necessary planning.


Conclusion


With intelligent planning software and consistent use of geographic information, it is possible to lay the foundation for building converged networks already in the strategic planning of fiber optic networks.

This is possible thanks to the evolution of systems and connections. It is therefore possible and is given as an alternative option.


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