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Netco and Servco, the game is played on fixed network slicing

The telecommunications market is polarizing: network operators (netco) on the one hand and service and customer experience operators (servco) on the other. A trend destined to accelerate in Italy also and above all taking into account the objectives of the Pnrr. Tim and Open Fiber won the 1 Giga Italia Race: wholesale netco companies, such as Open Fiber and Fibercop (Tim), will need to create millions of wholesale connections in a very short time, ie within the next 40 months.

The majority of the connections will be of the active type – that is, it brings the universal Olt + Ont to the user’s home, where the router (Cpe) can be free. The funds made available as part of the Italia 1 Giga tender also finance the acquisition of the active infrastructure portion. But the provision of active wholesale connections requires a completely new approach to building FTTH access networksvery similar to what – as in the case of standalone 5G mobile networks – is known as NNetwork Slicing applied to virtual mobile operators (Mvno). Through this approach the FTTH network can be “cut”, that is, configured in such a way as to assign each server operator its slice of the network to be managed as if it were your own and with the flexibility to generate differentiated service packages and billing profiles.

Whether the operator in question is counted as netco or servco does not make much difference from the point of view of the potential in terms of the offer to the end customer.: already today there are dedicated and new generation FTTH systems based on the virtualization paradigm, that is software-defined and based on cloud computing, similar to those adopted both at the core and edge level in Tlc networks. For netco these systems allow a “slicing” of the FTTH access network in a very similar way to that offered by 5G in mobile networks, in support of vertical offers or MVNOs; for servcos, the systems allow for extreme flexibility in creating and customizing service packages. It goes without saying, however, that the services free from the burdens of building the network will be able to concentrate their own financial resources combined with those provided by the State, through vouchers to the end customer., to design differentiated and innovative services. Each service is characterized by specific profiles of available / guaranteed bandwidth, latency and traffic routing that guarantees its performance.

The most interesting services can be grouped into 3 areas: in the residential and professional fields can be predicted specific packages for gaming, metaverse, 4k / 8K video streaming as well as optimizations for specific applications to support smart working, unified communication & collaboration and distributed contact center; within the generic business the main potentials concern i professional HD and room videoconferencing services, business applications in public cloud, big data analytics, remote coding / testing, edge computing applications such as SD-Wan, Sase, centralized / distributed / hybrid contact center, multi-sed data transportAnd; regarding the vertical business applications that require a strong use of slicing functions such as the industrial IoT, the adoption of augmented reality for logistics and production, the backhauling of radio sites, the transport of video to and from production centers (video contribution )data center and data center interconnect functionality.

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However, it is clear that operators – whether they are netco or servco – will have to rely on specialized and cutting-edge partners in the turnkey construction of infrastructures and systems to improve efficiency, flexibility and return on investment in these new scenarios.

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