FTTH/x: CHEAP Misconception by Deployers
-by Muhamad Azani Maarup
Nowadays, we can see the trend that every telco wants to deploy the FTTH service. This is derived by sudden spike of customer’s demand for a stable signal with huge bandwidth.
However, with this new inclination, also comes the biggest misconception by most (if not, ALL) Telcos in Malaysia; which is reducing the CAPEX, to expedite the ROI.
It seems that Telco’s nowadays either are not well-versed, or they are just simply ignoring the fundamental in Fiber Optics telecommunication. Even though fiber optics is known for high speed and bandwidth which it can carry, there are few main ENEMIES of Fiber Optics that need to be taken into consideration each time you want to deploy the FTTH or Fiber Optics network.
It can be seen in any specifications or requirements for passive items involved in FTTH network, they should comply to certain international standard to ensure that the FTTH network is highly reliable and dependable. In example, any underground components / passive items (Fiber Optic Splice Closure, Underground Distribution Point, etc.) should comply to at least IP67 Ratings to ensure that no dust and water could penetrate into those components once they are installed in your network even though it is submerged in water.
However, it seems that this sort of criteria is not the main concern anymore as PRICE is the first thing that will be evaluated in any RFQs or Tenders nowadays. Deny it all you can, but this has become the practice in Malaysia in recent years.
This unhealthy practice surely comes with consequences. And surely enough, it will directly affect the end customers. Records shows that even the major Telcos are facing these issues, whereas using a sub-standard product has really affect their FTTH/Fiber networks.
There was a case where all the Underground Distribution Point (> 4000 pcs) needed to be replaced since that they were found that the UG DP was penetrated by water, thus affecting the FTTH service to customer. It took almost 4 months to complete this replacement work exercise.
There was also a case where a Telco needed to replace all of their network components for High Rise building due to severe cable management issues. This was also caused by the usage of sub-standard products and solutions.
Just imagine how much does it cost to perform these rework/replacement works. Not to mention time taken and credibility diminution suffered by those Telcos. In the end, Telcos might end up spending much more to overcome these sorts of problems.
As a conclusion, it can safely be said that choosing sub-standard and cheap products is not the correct way to optimized your budget. You might reduce your CAPEX, but you will surely increase your OPEX due to unforeseen issues and problems that might occur in the future. And bear in mind, once you’d replace the products, there’s no assurance that the problem will not occur again (and again) for as long as you are using the same sub-standard and cheap product.
Therefore, the most accurate practice to ensure that your budget will be optimized, is to choose a high quality and highly reliable products which can assure your network can last for more 20 years. Remember, CHEAP is OFTEN EXPENSIVE!!