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China Telecom Shanghai: FTTx O&M accelerates metro optical network rollout

Key words: FTTx, O&M, optical network

Abstract:

Facing challenges in mass market deployment, China Telecom Shanghai has chosen Huawei's O&M solution to tackle O&M issues such as the need for fast service provisioning and fault diagnosis, while handling the additional requirements of a soaring subscriber base.

Short version:

Challenges/opportunities:

  • Speed up FTTx rollouts for its MONET (Metro Optical Network) project;
  • Low efficiency in service provisioning;
  • Lack of optimization and fault reports are transferred to the O&M department for processing.

Solutions:

  • Choose Huawei's O&M solution to improve fault diagnosis capabilities and accelerate service provisioning.

Benefits:

  • FTTH service provisioning is enhanced and the operator has gained 650,000 FTTH subscribers as of May 2011;
  • FTTx O&M has been simplified, greatly enhancing the efficiency.

Medium version:

The world's fastest-growing broadband rate is in Japan, where the average bandwidth exceeded more than 60Mbps and the downstream rate surpassed over 90Mbps in as early as 2009. Its FTTH/FTTB subscribers exceeded 17.14 million, the world's largest of its kind, by 2009. Shanghai, separated from Japan by a narrow strip of water, only had 2Mbps of available bandwidth on average in 2009. The bandwidth gap was evidently so large that China Telecom Shanghai faced both unprecedented pressures and increased momentum for progression.

In response, China Telecom Shanghai officially embarked on its MONET (Metro Optical Network) project in June 2009. This initiative would call for an investment of RMB six billion to build the network within two years and achieve "fast Ethernet into homes, Gigabit-speed connections for office buildings, and T-class egress" network coverage within three years (expected to cover over three million subscribers by 2011).

Increased market demands

China Telecom Shanghai needed to speed up FTTx rollouts to achieve its goals for the MONET project. Because of the huge differences between FTTx and traditional copper networks, the operator faced some major challenges in network O&M as the number of FTTx subscribers continued to climb. Like most operators, China Telecom Shanghai was most concerned with network construction and door-visit installations during the initial stages of development. After the subscriber base continued to grow and exceeded 5,000, the operator became more focused on mission-critical factors such as service provisioning and fault diagnosis.

To expand it networks, China Telecom Shanghai had to overcome the low efficiency in service provisioning due to the IT system not supporting automatic activation and provisioning of services. Subscriber applications for FTTH services were processed by manually selecting the appropriate resources and configuring equipment accordingly. Another issue that had to be addressed was improving response times in fault diagnosis and fault locating.

The lack of optimization in these types of tools lead to a customer service hotline that transferred most of the fault reports to the O&M department for processing. When the O&M department processed fault reports, they had difficulties identifying whether a fault occurred at the central office (CO), optical line, or user side. As a result, troubleshooting at each possible fault point was often necessary, which required a lot of time and caused delays in clearing the issues.

Fast deployment and simplified O&M

Facing challenges in mass market deployments, China Telecom Shanghai choose Huawei's O&M solution to tackle issues such as improving fault diagnosis capabilities and accelerating service provisioning.

Fast service provisioning

Using the existing IT system of China Telecom Shanghai, FTTH service provisioning involves four steps: 1) the CRM system accepts a subscriber's application; 2) appropriate resources are allocated; 3) the equipment and service data are configured; and 4) the equipment is installed in the subscriber’s home and services are provisioned.

Unlike the copper access network that has simple one-to-one mapping relationships between terminals and CO ports, an FTTx network is a point-to-multipoint network and has more complex relationships between subscriber terminals and PON ports. Therefore, the relationship between a terminal and a PON port needs to be determined for allocating resources in an FTTH network. After this is performed, the information used for terminal authentication is allocated. As such, China Telecom Shanghai built up a resource system for allocating PON resources and terminal authentication information.

During equipment and service data configuration, service data such as the VLAN, bandwidth, and voice data needs to be preconfigured on subscriber terminals. After comparing numerous options such as NMS-based configuration, direct equipment configuration, and full pre-configuration, China Telecom Shanghai adopted NMS-based configurations for service provisioning. This method allows the NMS to complete the configurations according to the configuration parameters issued from the IT system to its northbound interface (NBI). The method is able to screen the differences in equipment from multiple vendors, a capacity that improves the flexibility in designing networking schemes, reduces the numbers of parameters that need to be configured, and provides better distinction between network layers.

For bridging+voice ONTs, the OSS is interconnected with the U2000 to provision services. For SFU+HG ONTs, the OSS is interconnected with the U2000 to configure the Layer 2 service channel of the SFU and uses the ITMS system to provision home gateway (HG) services.

Currently, China Telecom Shanghai is able to handle an FTTH service request within three days (from installation and indoor routing to service provisioning). Previous practices on the live networks show that FTTH services can be provisioned for up to 3,000 subscribers every day.

Fault locating and diagnosis

To cope with fault locating and diagnosis challenges, China Telecom Shanghai was the first to use the PON112 system. The PON112 system interconnects with the NMS and meets the requirements defined by China Telecom. The system is able to preprocess faults for fault identification.

After customer service personnel enter the fault symptom, the system is able use the subscribers' account or telephone number to easily locate the OLT PON port to which the subscriber's ONT is connected as well as the subscriber's ONT. The system can then query the related information such as the OLT/ONT optical power and alarm information. Based on such information, the PON112 system checks the port running status to locate the fault.

Using the PON112 system, the customer service department is able to handle 70% of the faults itself, without the need to seek help from the O&M department. The remaining 30% of the faults that are transferred to the O&M department are efficiently handled as the root cause of the faults can usually be quickly determined. This ability to pinpoint the faults allows the department to assign the appropriate personnel to troubleshoot the problem in a timely manner (85% of the work orders do not need to be transferred across multiple departments).

Gaining benefits

By leveraging the unified NBIs, China Telecom Shanghai has achieved service provisioning, PON112-enabled verification, and cross-vendor resource management. Currently, the operator is carrying out ONT interoperability and GPON NBI integration tests. As of May 2011, China Telecom Shanghai has serviced 650,000 FTTH subscribers, with an increase of 60,000 to 70,000 subscribers per month.

Huawei will also provide a large-capacity management solution for 3 million FTTH lines and 1 million FTTB lines as well as the remote redundancy backup solution in the NMS HA system for disaster recovery. The Huawei O&M solution incorporates over 10 years of Huawei's O&M expertise in access networks and covers the entire O&M process (consisting of service provisioning, network monitoring and maintenance, and fault diagnosis). With this industry-leading solution, China Telecom Shanghai is equipped to accomplish their MONET project.

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