The telecommunications industry has reached a tipping point. Network densification is a requirement for increased and more ubiquitous connectivity. Up to this point, the telecommunications industry has been able to utilize existing fiber and build new fiber in an ad hoc, as needed, manner. This is no longer enough as the demand for small cells and DAS is increasing exponentially in the race to 5G. There’s simply not enough fiber to support 5G and network densification. Whether or not we, the telecommunications industry, deploy 5G successfully largely rests in the ability to lay enough fiber fronthaul — the fiber that connects homes, businesses, and small cell sites.
We interviewed three experts and veteran telecommunications leadersto better understand what it will take to succeed and deploy the fiber necessary for network densification and optimization. Through our conversations, we addressed solutions for the telecommunications industry fiber fronthaul problem, which is at the core of 5G deployment. In order to successfully roll out 5G, carriers and their service providers must build more now to prepare for exponentially increasing demand for connectivity.
We sat down with Ray LaChance, co-founder and CEO at ZenFi Networks, Chuck Norris, director of Project Operations at ISCO International, and George Pitsoulakis, vice president of Product Management and Business Development at ISCO International, to glean key insight into how technology transformations in the industry have succeeded in the past, and how we, as an industry, can apply those lessons to network densification and 5G, today.
ZenFi Networks is one of the leading fiber providers in the New York and New Jersey metro region working towards mobile network densification. To date, ZenFi Networks fiber connects over 2,000 wireless sites of the nearly 6,000 it currently has under contract, a number that’s growing every month, making them industry frontrunners for fronthaul innovation and deployment.
ISCO International knows a thing or two about juggling diverse projects, managing upwards of 100 projects at a time with Norris at the helm. With ISCO International’s standard of excellence, it’s difficult to manage these types of projects as volume increases due to 5G rollout and network densification. Norris explained how ISCO International is handling this volume and what he sees as the future for the telecommunications industry in 2019 and beyond.
With over 25 years of telecommunications industry experience, Pitsoulakis is an expert in the evolution of connectivity and what it takes to bring new waves of technology innovation to life. Prior to ISCO International, Pitsoulakis served as Director of Operations and Product Management at Call One and Director Systems Planning and Implementation at U.S. Cellular. He has led teams focused on planning and roll out of services in the network including 4G LTE, so is particularly poised to provide key insight into the rollout of 5G and the necessary network densification to support it.
Through our conversations, we addressed solutions for the telecommunications industry fiber fronthaul problem, which is at the core of 5G deployment. In order to successfully roll out 5G, carriers and their service providers must build more now to prepare for exponentially increasing demand for connectivity.
Fiber has reached a tipping point
What we learned from these interviews is we’ve reached a tipping point. To support 5G and network densification, we need to build more fiber. Whether or not the telecommunications industry deploys 5G successfully depends on its ability to lay enough fiber fronthaul. Now, you should understand what it will take to succeed and deploy the fiber necessary for network optimization. Fiber fronthaul is central to 5G deployment and whether or not we build enough now will have impactful consequences on 5G and future telecommunications technology.
Fiber’s irreplaceable role in making 5G a reality cannot be overstated. 5G won’t be successful without an expansive fiber network to handle the traffic generated through 5G connections.
Some regions are pulling ahead in the race because they’re already investing or have invested in the fiber infrastructure necessary for 5G. Some regions are falling behind because they lack fiber infrastructure necessary. In order to change course, regions that are falling behind will need to build the fiber infrastructure needed to support 5G.
This article is an excerpt from a 12-page special report produced by Sitetracker, call “2019: Telecom’s Tipping Point — Promise of 5G in jeopardy without fiber fronthaul investment.”
Download the report to learn how industry leaders are taking a new approach.