By harnessing existing wiring infrastructure, including legacy telephone pairs or coaxial cabling, operators can now activate subscribers in MDUs at 20% of the typical cost of rewiring. While the brownfield broadband MDU market holds great opportunities for service providers, the market has faced various challenges.
Brownfield MDUs are often located near an abundance of fiber yet are often overlooked due to the cost and complexity of rewiring these older buildings with fiber to each door. Another major roadblock with Fiber Extension solutions has been the complexity of provisioning subscribers and activating services.
MDUs regarded as “passed homes” may never become paying subscribers or have access to the reliable, ubiquitous connectivity typical of Single-Family Units (SFUs).
“With our GAM solution, brownfield MDUs will no longer be bypassed, as they will become much more profitable than SFUs,” said Pierre Trudeau, President and CTO of Positron Access. “Subscribers appear as if individual ONTs are serving them, greatly extending the PON access network service coverage, giving owners and residents access to reliable, high-quality Gigabit services.”
A collaborative effort
Positron is not going alone in the Brownfield MDU effort. Working in collaboration with Calix’s XGS-PON products, the GAM supports native XGS-PON with full OMCI (G.988) compliance.
This turns the solution into a multi-port optical network terminal (ONT). Combining XGS-PON and OMCI, with support from the Broadband Forum’s ‘fiber-to-the-extension-point’ standard (TR-419), the GAM is already used by innovative operators like United Fiber, Nuvera and Paul Bunyan to serve legacy properties with XGS-PON efficiently.
These operators leverage the same flow-through provisioning and analytics capabilities of their XGS-PON vendor to serve MDUs.
Livia Rosu, also leading strategy alliances landscape at MaxLinear and HomeGrid Forum president, praised the new solution as another tool to bring broadband into the underserved Brownfield MDU market.
“The GAM is now fitted with a Positron-designed XGS-PON ONT in an SFP+ form factor,” she said. “Not only does it address the digital divide, but it also transforms brownfield MDUs into easily serviced homes, resulting in a highly profitable segment for operators. This development is a win for service providers, residents, building owners, and Wi-Fi and fiber equipment vendors alike.”
Besides its work with Calix, Positron is also collaborating with MaxLinear. Positron selected MaxLinear’s G.hn chipset for its G.hn Access Multiplexers (GAM) products.
Reducing capex, opex
One of Positron’s key selling points is that it can reduce deployment costs for providers expanding broadband services into Brownfield MDUs. The GAM offers the required layer-2 VLAN, QoS, bandwidth shaping, and security capabilities for deploying a managed Wi-Fi solution.
Coupling G.hn technology with XGS-PON enables the delivery of Gigabit services without rewiring disruption for the lowest CAPEX and OPEX. Subscribers are provisioned using the same operations and business support systems, increasing operators’ market size, revenues, and traffic on the PON network.
With a converged Gigabit Ethernet infrastructure inside their MDUs, property owners can address smart buildings and overcome future connectivity challenges for their residents. Operators who invested in deploying XGS-PON (or GPON) services can use the GAM to maximize their RoI and achieve higher adoption rates.