Huawei Launches OptiXstar F30 to Optimize the Home Broadband Experience
With 25 years of experience in the telecommunications and digital media markets, Michael Philpott is Omdia’s leading analyst in the connected home area. As Research Director for service provider consumer, he delivers thought leadership to Omdia’s clients on digital home go-to-market strategy.
The demands on the home broadband network are set to increase exponentially and service providers will need to invest in new advanced technologies to keep up with these demands.
The mix of more devices, bandwidth hungry applications, and greater reliance on the cloud will drive the need for fibre-based gigabit services. But once an operator has offered a gigabit service, it is essential that they can get this level of service not just to the home, but right down to the end device. In discussions with service providers, Omdia knows that if they fail to achieve this, declining customer satisfaction will quickly follow. A high-quality home network therefore is an essential part of a service provider’s future broadband strategy.
Traditional home networking technologies such as Wi-Fi have seen significant advancements in recent years and although can now provide a high-level of customer experience, can still have an impact on bandwidth, latency, and coverage. Centralized FTTR architectures have been proven to fully optimize this experience.
In 2023 Huawei has launched an upgrade to its own FTTR portfolio, the OptiXstar F30, that improves the experience further by providing even greater speed, coverage, and throughput, as well as reductions in device-roaming times and latency.
If positioned properly, FTTR solutions can provide a number of advantages to the service provider in terms of increasing customer satisfaction and brand perception, customer stickiness and churn reduction, and ARPU growth.
The demand drivers for FTTR
The increasing demand on the home network is driven by a combination of continued growth in the number and variety of connected devices, more bandwidth hungry applications, and greater reliance on the cloud.
Between now and 2030 shipments of connected devices will have increased by over 40% and installed consumer IoT products by 210%. The types and capability of connected devices in the home will also have changed, with the majority of shipments of display devices having Full-HD or Ultra-HD capability, and shipments of VR-capable devices outstripping those of games consoles.
Digital consumer applications are also developing rapidly, becoming more reliant on the cloud, and therefore increasingly dependent on high-bandwidth, highly consistent, and low-latency networks to function at the required quality. Some applications such as cloud gaming won’t require ultra-high bandwidth but will rely on low latency – XR applications on the other hand will need both high-bandwidths and low latency. See Figure 1.
Figure 1: Application network requirements
It is this combination of increasing connected devices, bandwidth-hungry applications and greater reliance on the cloud that will drive the demand for gigabit, fiber-based, broadband services. End-to-end fiber networks have been proven to deliver the optimum broadband experience across all metrics including speed, reliability, latency, and consistency. By 2027 Omdia predicts that there will be over 1 billion fiber-connected households, 420 million of which will be receiving gigabit speeds.
Getting high-speed, low latency services to the home, however, is irrelevant if that level of broadband quality can’t be then delivered down to the devices that need it. Although developments in traditional home networking technologies such as Ethernet cabling and Wi-Fi have improved the customer experience significantly in recent years, they still have their limitations that can impact the customer experience, especially for really high-end applications. Replacing the in-home backhaul with a centralized FTTR architecture has been proven in both lab test results and service provider deployments to fully optimize the in-home experience by enhancing speed, latency, coverage, and device roaming metrics across the whole of the home.
FTTR market update
With the release of the OptiXstar F30 series, the FTTR solution becomes more mature, bringing better user experience in terms of appearance, Wi-Fi rate, and self-service management, with the accelerating growth in FTTH subscriptions, and service providers’ desire to market premium-quality broadband services, Omdia forecasts robust growth in the FTTR share of residential FTTH subscriptions across all regions. In China it is already deployed in more than 2 million homes and there are now commercial deployments in a number of other countries such as Hong Kong, Thailand, Philippines, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Portugal, and Brazil.
By 2030, Omdia predicts there will be more than 190 million residential FTTR customers, equivalent to 17% of FTTH subscriptions. The figure will be highest in the region of Oceania, Eastern & South-Eastern Asia (22%), which is largely driven by China, followed by 15% in North America and 12% in Western Europe. These figures reflect the early deployments of FTTR by operators in the Chinese market. They also demonstrate that FTTR penetration is likely to be linked to income levels.
In the future, with the further popularization of gigabit services, FTTR will enter an accelerated development period. FTTR can not only meet the network requirements of large villa households, but also meet the network requirements of heavy users such as office, gaming, and HD video. FTTR will provide a high-quality, ultra-gigabit Wi-Fi experience for a wider range of FTTH users.
The Middle East is another region that presents a promising area for growth and we forecast 10% of residential FTTH subscriptions will have FTTR by 2030. This reflects strong initial momentum behind the technology with some operators having already launched services. Large villa style properties in the region are also a good match for FTTR solutions.
Disclaimer: Any views and/or opinions expressed in this post by individual authors or contributors are their personal views and/or opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views and/or opinions of Huawei Technologies.