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Jul 28, 2023
3 min

How Should You Evolve Your Broadband Access Network? Adopt a Simplified Network Architecture

Broadband service providers (BSPs) aim to establish access networks and bring on subscribers quickly to meet their business objectives. Many BSPs use traditional access networks, which compartmentalize their network architecture and require separate purchases for access, aggregation, Layer 3 transport, and subscriber management. While this approach may seem sensible, it can be short-sighted because it doesn’t consider subscriber services or how the network operates and scales as service traffic grows.

Traditional access networks are complex and involve multiple elements. This makes managing, operating, and troubleshooting networks and services challenging. Traditional access networks need continuous integration of numerous functions (service delivery, aggregation, routing, subscriber management), which involves validating, integrating, and aligning new capabilities from various products every release before they can support production networks. It's crucial to consider the recurring expense to maintain and license multiple functions to ensure they align with your service and subscriber growth. Reducing the time and effort required to maintain existing networks is critical to concentrate on growing and deploying new ones, especially accelerating time-to-revenue.

A simplified network architecture makes it easier to deploy new capabilities quickly, speeding up the integration and operationalization of new capabilities in existing networks. The simplified network architecture involves moving service-enabling network functions closer to the subscriber-facing network. This approach eliminates the need to purchase, deploy, and manage multiple network elements and provides more service policy management control closer to the subscriber. The simplified network establishes a foundation for network resiliency and enhances operational efficiency, plus allows you to grow and match investments as you succeed.

How To Simplify Your Network Architecture

When deploying access networks in new areas, start with a simplified network. If you have traditional access networks in place, transform them with these simple steps.

  • Traditional networks start with an optical line terminal (OLT) connected to subscribers and evolve into Layer 2 networks supported by link aggregation (LAG) or rings for network resiliency. With a simplified approach, the aggregation, subscriber management, and service routing functions are separate and centralized.
  • With Layer 2 switching, you can aggregate service virtual local area network (VLAN) traffic and reduce the number of needed transport circuits.
  • Add Layer 3 to segment traffic, manage network performance, and provide resiliency.
  • Terminate access service VLANs and support subscriber management functions closer to the edge—providing authentication, authorization, accounting, IP address management, security, policy, and Quality of Service (QoS) management.
  • Add service routing closer to the edge, including deploying new OLTs with consolidated network functions—providing flexibility to optimize network and service performance to reduce network traffic, plus lower capital and operating expenses.

Benefits of a Simplified Network

Experience the benefits of a simplified network to achieve your take-rate objectives while improving your operational efficiency:

  • Cut capital expenses by eliminating the need to buy separate network elements.
  • Reduce the number of systems to learn, integrate, manage, monitor, and maintain.
  • Lower the cost of network traffic transport by eliminating centralized subscriber management.
  • Improve the network performance and enhance the subscriber experience by optimizing network traffic and managing QoS closer to the edge.
  • Simplify network troubleshooting by reducing the number of systems to manage and automating workflows.

To learn more, download our recent eBook, “How the Simplified Network Delivers the New Era of Broadband Services.

Director, Access Network Product Marketing, Calix

Andre Viera is the director of access network product marketing at Calix. Andre spearheads the creation of marketing initiatives that help service providers overcome obstacles and achieve growth. Before Calix, Andre worked at Fujitsu Network Communications, Oclaro, EMC, Alcatel-Lucent, and AT&T Network Systems. Andre has an MBA from and holds MSME and BSME degrees from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

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