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Fiber everywhere

The new reality for a futureproof infrastructure for 5G, IoT and beyond

What does fiber everywhere mean?

Networks are experiencing an explosion of new services with unpredictable needs, including an insatiable growth in bandwidth driven by broadband services, massive scaling expected for IoT and 5G devices, and mobile edge computing driven by latency concerns from critical services.

These are just a few of the factors driving growth in fiber everywhere and challenging the carrier’s ability to handle this new reality. Supporting this highly scalable and flexible infrastructure requires a different set of skills and processes.

With 100 G/bits and soon 400 G/bits becoming the norm, fiber is the only solution. Having a fiber network that’s ready for this and the skills to deploy new fiber quickly—without issue when there isn’t enough—will be essential to maintaining a competitive advantage.

Fiber-to-the-edge and mobile-to-the-end-user are no longer a dream, but a reality. Are you ready to embrace fiber everywhere?

EXFO has the solutions and expertise you need to take fiber everywhere.


How will fiber everywhere impact carriers?

Today’s networks are evolving to address high-bandwidth, localized and intelligent services. A big part of this evolution is the shift away from copper or coax infrastructures towards fiber. Whether it’s fiber deep for next-gen cable MSOs, C-RAN to support 5G or simply modernization of residential broadband with FTTC, the shift to fiber is on. Having the right skills and tools will be critical for carrier operations and construction teams to ensure this transition goes as planned and their fiber network remains a competitive asset.

Managing large-scale fiber construction projects

Large-scale fiber installation projects, regardless of whether they’re data center builds or outside plant builds, are often plagued by issues like quality and deadlines for completion. And while some of these issues are unavoidable, many of them can be traced back to process. For projects involving thousands of fibers, manual fiber testing can become a very tedious and error-prone activity, and auditing test results is often done on a representative sample basis.

Manual fiber testing leads to errors or inconsistency in test setup and execution, which in turn leads to questionable results. Additionally, results are often captured, audited and approved more slowly. Issues with training or failure to follow standard methods can go undetected for the duration of the project, causing significant delay and impacting budgets.

The key to improving this activity is to have automated real-time testing that covers setup, execution, recording and auditing of results. This is the only way to track progress in real time, have 100% coverage of auditing test results and identify training or procedural issues before they impact the project.


How will carriers benefit from fiber everywhere?

Fiber everywhere is not going to change the way carriers do business. That role falls to the new service enabling technologies, like 5G, IoT and even NFV. But having fiber everywhere will make it easier to deploy these new services. Greater scalability and capacity, better signal quality over longer distances and a flatter network architecture provide a fertile platform for service innovation. Maximizing your current investment in fiber and deploying new fiber quickly and flawlessly requires a new level of skills, tools and insight.

Bandwidth scalability

If there’s one thing that certain about today’s network, it’s that you cannot predict what kind of services will be offered in the future. Carriers today need to be ready for massive scalability, both in terms of the bandwidth demanded by end users and applications, and in terms of the number of end user devices in the network.

This unpredictable growth places a large burden on the underlying infrastructure, which needs to scale accordingly, without requiring large construction projects or other such investments.

A well-built and properly characterized fiber network provides this flexible scalability. By having the right tools and processes to ensure the fiber infrastructure can operate as specified and is able to handle the wavelength counts and higher speeds being planned or deployed today, carriers will be in a much better position to address any unforeseen capacity expansions, quickly and without issue.

True competitive differentiation will come from being able to deliver tomorrow’s services on today’s network.


The transformation to an all fiber network is an essential for today’s networks. Whether it’s converting the central office into a data center (CORD), replacing coax and analog fiber systems in the MSO access (fiber deep), evolving to a centralized RAN (C-RAN) architecture in preparation for 5G or upgrading existing fiber systems to 100G or 400G for more capacity, fiber will play a vital role. Having the right processes, skills and tools will ensure your transformation is successful. Are you ready?

Fronthaul testing

Transforming the RAN network into a centralized RAN (C-RAN) architecture is a critical aspect of the larger move to 5G, driven by the need to scale bandwidth to the radio head, reduce power and space requirements at the radio head and drive OPEX savings. By centrally locating the baseband units (BBUs) and feeding remote radio heads (RRHs) with fiber, MNOs can significantly improve operations efficiency. However, these savings are only half the battle. 5G will also bring a considerable increase in RRHs to deal with the anticipated bandwidth requirements of 5G applications. This will, in turn, increase RF interference issues, which can be very time consuming and expensive to isolate.

Having a fronthaul monitoring solution that covers both the fiber infrastructure and the CPRI signals in the fronthaul, to identify and isolate RF interferers, will be critical to operations efficiency. Being able to remotely identify RF issues, including which specific RRH is impacted, will save technicians significant time by eliminating unnecessary truck rolls.

EXFO has the fronthaul monitoring solutions you need to gain 100% visibility and optimize operations.