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5G and Beyond: How Dark Fiber Supports the Next Generation of Telecom Carriers


As technology advances, it falls upon the industry to introduce innovative solutions to the market and share the benefits of new products and ideas. Achieving this requires significant teamwork, as various sectors within the tech industry must collaborate to deliver optimal results. This is true for any area of technology, including the partnership between fiber and telecom. With the growing interest in 5G technology, exploring how dark fiber supports telecom carriers in the transition to 5G is becoming more essential. Enterprise-Level Benefits of 5G While 5G has been accessible to American consumers for some time, enterprises are now entering the market at a pace that is expected to outpace consumer use in a matter of years. This shift marks a significant milestone, signaling the readiness of the corporate world to fully leverage the capabilities of 5G technology. With low latency and high potential speeds, 5G is an ideal choice for companies using high-density applications like augmented reality (AR) and the Internet of Things (IoT). Additionally, it paves the way for large-scale rollouts of smart cities and public safety initiatives. On the security front, enterprise-level users can find assurance in the robust security measures that are ingrained in the very core of 5G technology, which comply with industry-standard protocols. As enterprises continue to adopt 5G, the next logical step is to consider the infrastructure that will support this advanced connectivity. Dark Fiber and 5G To fully capitalize on the benefits of 5G, a reliable and scalable infrastructure is essential. Much like its predecessor, 4G, 5G technology is poised to revolutionize connectivity for all end users, both consumer and enterprise alike. For enterprises looking to implement a 5G rollout, dark fiber emerges as a complementary asset that can provide multifaceted benefits to the industry at large. While fiber is widely regarded as the go-to solution for connectivity, dark fiber elevates this standard by offering a suite of specialized advantages. Unlike “lit” fiber, which accommodates multiple clients on a shared network, dark fiber is leased to individual enterprises. This focused approach not only eliminates the congestion and high-traffic issues commonly associated with shared fiber, but also offers a streamlined path for companies seeking robust connectivity. Dark fiber providers have already laid the necessary infrastructure, leaving enterprises with a single action: securing the lease for immediate access to a dedicated, high-performance connection. Designed with performance, scalability, and security in mind, dark fiber is constructed to meet the unique communication needs of each customer. It justifies its value proposition by significantly reducing or even eliminating the need for third-party service providers. In the context of 5G, which demands a robust and resilient infrastructure, dark fiber stands as an invaluable asset. Its inherent privacy features enable the high speeds and low latency that are critical to unlocking the full potential of 5G technology. The Telecom and Dark Fiber Partnership As 5G continues to gain traction, the role of dark fiber in its rollout becomes increasingly vital. This growing importance is expected to fuel industry expansion over the next several years, thereby enhancing the overall infrastructure for enterprises transitioning to 5G. The escalating demands of the telecom sector have already ignited innovation in fiber technology, setting the stage for a harmonious integration of both sectors in the near future. Building on this, as enterprises strategize for their transition to 5G, dark fiber presents itself as a compelling solution. Given the speed and capacity that 5G offers, the privacy and traffic isolation provided by dark fiber become increasingly appealing to large-scale operations, as shown by current industry trends. Dark fiber also serves as a prudent choice for enterprises aiming to future-proof their connectivity. Its lease-based model allows companies to scale their network capabilities without the worry of congestion causing disruption for their users.

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Kinetic Wholesale is spearheading innovation in the world of fiber connectivity for middle America. This leading provider is proud to announce the launch of Nexus, a game-changing client portal designed specifically to address the unique challenges faced by wholesale buyers in today’s dynamic market. Efficiency Redefined Simon Cooper, Vice President of Kinetic Wholesale Services, underscores the importance of creating a solution tailored to the needs of their wholesale customers, stating, “Wholesale users need scalable processes that save time and enable processing information in bulk.” Their wholesale experts designed Nexus to be intuitive yet packed with all the functionality necessary for their customers to quote and manage orders. Moreover, customers will be able to procure specialists to get pricing, including operations experts who manage and monitor orders and fulfillment for wholesale services. Key Features of Nexus Bulk and Individual Quoting: Nexus allows users to effortlessly generate quotes for all of Kinetic’s services, whether you’re quoting in bulk or for individual customers. This feature empowers businesses to handle their quoting needs efficiently and with precision. Seamless Quote to Order Conversion: Nexus streamlines the process of converting quotes into orders, saving valuable time. Order Progress Tracking: Keep tabs on the status of your orders with real-time notifications and reporting. Stay informed to help meet customer expectations and make informed decisions. Comprehensive Management: Nexus doesn’t stop at quoting and ordering. It extends to inventory management, billing, trouble resolution, and analytics, providing a holistic view of your wholesale operations. Administrative Functionality: Nexus features role-based access, allowing different team members to access the functionalities relevant to their roles. This introduces a secure and efficient workflow. Integration Flexibility One of the standout features of Nexus is its adaptability. Recognizing that their customers have unique preferences and existing systems, Kinetic has made Nexus compatible with various tools and systems. Whether you’re using TransUnion TruContact UOC, Connectbase, or other systems offering APIs, Nexus seamlessly integrates with them, providing back-office automation for a smoother experience. Partnering for Success Ben Edmond, Founder and CEO of Connectbase, expresses his excitement about the collaboration with Kinetic, stating, “With our deep, accurate location intelligence and other quoting services delivered through our APIs to Nexus, buyers can now pre-qualify opportunities, get true address validation, and be able to quote much faster with more accuracy.” Furthermore, the order processing aspect is not overlooked. John Denemark, Senior Vice President of Carrier Provisioning at TransUnion, emphasizes the importance of timely service activation, highlighting TransUnion’s role in helping Nexus automate order processing for a superior customer experience. In a fast-paced digital landscape, it’s essential for wholesale buyers to have access to tools that simplify their operations and empower them to serve their customers efficiently. Kinetic Wholesale’s Nexus promises to do just that, making wholesale connectivity services more accessible and streamlined than ever before.

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Bulgaria' s Neterra Telecommunications breaks ground on second data center in Sofia


The four-story, 1,400 square meter (15,000 sq ft) facility, known as Sofia Data Center 2 (SDC-2), is located opposite Neterra SDC-1 facility and is being built to Tier III Uptime standards. Construction is due for completion later in 2021... It has 2MW of installed capacity, and the company says it plans to become carbon neutral by the end of 2021. Neterra says it already uses 100 percent clean energy for its operations. “This is a long-term policy. If we are organized well enough, we can even become carbon negative. This is our responsibility to the environment and the planet. We provide our data center clients with the choice to use power from renewable sources, so they can become carbon neutral as well,” Neven Dilkov, CEO of Neterra Group recently said of the company’s sustainability goals.

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The internet, a cornerstone of modern life, has evolved significantly since its inception, revolutionizing how we live, work, and communicate. NEDAS Live! Podcast host, Ilissa Miller, had the privilege of engaging in a fascinating conversation with Bob VanDelinder, the Vice President of Sales for Empire Access – a prominent internet service provider serving regions in upstate New York, western New York, and Pennsylvania. VanDelinder explores the transformative journey of internet services, the ever-changing landscape of customer demands, and Empire Access’s strategic expansion into new markets. A Journey Through Internet Evolution With nearly 25 years of experience with Empire Access, VanDelinder reflects on the company’s humble beginnings, a time when dial-up internet was the norm, and the World Wide Web was still in its infancy. He shares how he started as an intern, witnessing the internet’s early stages. As he transitioned into a full-time role, Empire Access adapted to the changing technological landscape, ushering in the era of DSL and, later, fiber optics. VanDelinder sheds light on the challenges and breakthroughs that have significantly shaped the internet landscape. It’s a testament to Empire Access’s unwavering commitment to staying at the forefront of emerging technologies while maintaining a strong focus on delivering excellent customer service. Adapting to Changing Customer Needs Moreover, VanDelinder delves into the dynamic realm of changing customer needs in the context of internet services. He discusses the evolution of the internet from a basic communication tool primarily used for sending emails and rudimentary web browsing to a multifaceted ecosystem. The advent of online gaming, streaming services like Netflix, and the proliferation of internet-connected devices have fueled the demand for faster and more reliable internet connections. This segment underscores the vital role that customer support plays in ensuring a seamless internet experience, particularly as technology continues to advance. Empire Access’s Expansion and the Need for Speed Further expanding into various communities, Bob VanDelinder highlights specific locations in which Empire Access has rolled out its fiber-optic internet services, proudly achieving recognition as the fastest internet provider not only in the Northeast but also in the entire United States, as endorsed by PC Magazine. This remarkable feat has generated substantial interest from businesses and municipalities in these regions. VanDelinder’s conversation with Miller brings to the forefront the growing significance of high-quality internet services in various sectors, from industrial businesses reliant on high-speed connections to local shops needing dependable point-of-sale systems. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, providers like Empire Access will remain pivotal in connecting communities, driving innovation, and ensuring that individuals and businesses have access to the robust internet services they require for success in an increasingly interconnected world. Their dedication to delivering cutting-edge technology with unwavering customer support positions them as leaders in the ever-competitive field of internet service provision.

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PON equipment spending up 32% year-on-year


According to a newly published report by Dell’Oro Group, total global revenue for the Broadband Access equipment market increased to US$16.3 billion in 2021, up 12 percent year-over-year. Dell’Oro’s 4Q 2021 Broadband Access and Home Networking quarterly report says that growth came once again from spending on both PON infrastructure and fixed wireless CPE. “2021 was a record year for PON equipment spending, with some of the highest growth coming from the North American market, where expansion projects and fibre overbuilds are picking up considerably,” said Jeff Heynen, vice president, Broadband Access and Home Networking at Dell’Oro Group. “These fibre expansion projects show no signs of slowing heading into 2022.” The report also says that total cable access concentrator revenue increased 4% year-on-year to just over US$1 billion. Steady growth in Distributed Access Architecture (DAA) deployments helps offset declines in traditional Converged Cable Access Platforms (CCAP) licenses. Also, total PON ONT unit shipments reached a record 140 million units for the year, bucking the supply chain constraints that have dogged the cable CPE market.

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High-speed, high-capacity power amplifier for next-generation networks


NEC Corporation has developed a power amplifier that will serve as a key device for mobile access and fronthaul/backhaul wireless communication equipment to enable high-speed, high-capacity communications for 5G Advanced and 6G networks. This power amplifier uses GaAs technology that can be mass-produced and has achieved the world's highest output power of 10 mW in the 150 GHz band. Capitalizing on this, NEC aims to fast-track both equipment development and social implementation. 5G Advanced and 6G are expected to deliver 100 Gbps-class high-speed, high-capacity communications, equivalent to 10 times the speed of current 5G. This can be effectively achieved through the use of the sub-terahertz band (100 to 300 GHz), which can provide a wide bandwidth of 10 GHz or more. In particular, early commercialization of the D band (130 to 174.8 GHz), which is internationally allocated for fixed wireless communications, is expected. NEC continues to make advancements in technological development by leveraging its knowledge of high-frequency bands cultivated through the development and operation of radio equipment for 5G base stations and PASOLINK, an ultra-compact microwave communication system that connects base stations via wireless communication. The newly developed power amplifier uses a commercially available 0.1-μm gallium arsenide (GaAs) pseudomorphic high electron mobility transistor (pHEMT) process. Compared to CMOS and silicon germanium (SiGe) used for the sub-terahertz band, GaAs pHEMTs have high operation voltage and lower initial costs for mass production. In terms of circuit design, this power amplifier eliminates factors that degrade performance in the high-frequency band and uses an impedance matching network configuration suitable for high output power. This has resulted in the achievement of excellent high-frequency characteristics between 110 GHz and 150 GHz as well as the world's highest output power for a GaAs pHEMT. In addition to the realization of high-performance, low-cost radio communication equipment above 100 GHz, this power amplifier will accelerate the social implementation of 5G Advanced and 6G. Going forward, NEC will continue developing technologies aimed at achieving high-speed, high-capacity, cost effective wireless communications for 5G Advanced and 6G.

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Giganet promises to plant a tree for every new Scottish customer


ISP Giganet expands its network in Scotland, and says it is ‘going green’ by planting a tree every time it makes a sale. Giganet has extended its full fibre network to 360,00 homes in Inverness, Aberdeen, Dundee, Renfrewshire, Stirling, Glasgow, and Edinburgh. The firm says less than 40% of premises in Scotland can currently connect to fibre, which we are told ‘means Scotland [is] still lagging behind the UK by almost 5% in the full fibre broadband rollout race.’ It’s not clear what almost 5% means – 4% or 3% perhaps? Either way it doesn’t seem like a massive variance, but all the same it’s no doubt good news for the bandwidth hungry in those recently plugged in areas. The ISP has also gone green, we are informed: ‘And its great news for environmentally conscious consumers, Giganet, often recognised for its bright yellow vans, is going green, with a commitment to plant a tree for every new Scottish customer.’ “We take topics such as the climate emergency very seriously, and moreover, we act,” said Tanya Thorne, Chief Marketing Officer at Giganet. “Doing the right thing for our planet is something we are passionate about. Through our partnership with Ecologi, each new Scottish customer will contribute to supporting local reforestation in the United Kingdom, with schemes in Ayrshire and Mull, adding further trees to our 22,000+ strong forest. “We pride ourselves in putting the customer first; offering excellent customer service, honest and transparent pricing, and flexible packages suited to all. With the cost of living rising and household budgets being squeezed across the UK, we are delighted to be offering our new Scottish customers 3 months free on a 12-month contract with no exit fees.” It appears to now be impossible for tech or telco firms to announce anything at all without it also being pitched as in some way saving the planet, and they often talk as if this is their sole purpose, as opposed to, say, increasing revenue. They come with varying degrees of legitimacy, for instance 5G does have some energy efficiencies over 4G, so you can drum up some tangential environmental benefits to upgrading networks – but ‘going green’ by promising to plant a tree somewhere every time someone in Scotland buys a broadband package is, arguably, pushing it a bit.

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More cash and customers as UK fibre boom continues


New developments in the UK fibre market indicate that the sector remains buoyant, not that there was really any doubt on the matter. Community Fibre has shared its latest rollout stats, but more interestingly, highlighted a new £100 million loan facility, while CityFibre unveiled a new customer arrangement that adds credence to its model and to its position as one of the country’s biggest altnets. The former is all about London, but we’re talking a much broader footprint in the case of the latter. Community Fibre came to the industry’s notice just under two years ago, with an ambitious plan to deliver full fibre broadband to 1 million households in London by 2023 and an injection of cash to help it on its way: investors Warburg Pincus and DTCP took a majority stake in the company for £400 million. The telco has since upped its target to 2.2 million homes and businesses by the end of 2024 and it is well on its way to achieving that. It has rolled out fibre to the first half million homes, while 116,000 businesses can connect to its network. Whether they actually are or not is another matter. Community Fibre hasn’t disclosed customer numbers, from which we can surmise that there are not masses. But that is clearly no problem for those bankrolling the company. Community Fibre notes that in support of its expansion plans it has secured an additional £100 million facility from a syndicate of new and existing banks, adding that the facility was “significantly oversubscribed.” Fibre still looks like a good bet to investors and financial backers, even at a fairly modest scale. “As an independent provider competing against larger incumbents, we know our goals are ambitious. However, we have been working hard to ensure that all of London has access to a high quality, high speed, affordable broadband network,” said Community Fibre chief executive Graeme Oxby, who has brought his wealth of UK telecoms experience to company over the past few years. “We believe that London should have the best possible infrastructure to support its future growth ambitions,” Oxby said. London has perhaps become a slightly harder sell in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly for business customers, as more people work from home and often further from city centres. However, there seems little doubt that the capital’s residents will still need full fibre broadband, which leaves Community Fibre with the job of persuading them to connect to its infrastructure, rather those of its rivals. Further afield, wholesale fibre builder CityFibre remains busy pushing its credentials as a serious alternative to the big guns, with a network that covers 1.5 million homes – most of which are actually service-ready – in many locations across the UK. It prefers to talk about its targeted coverage though: CityFibre is working on a £4 billion rollout project with the aim of reaching 8 million homes and 800,000 businesses by 2025, which is roughly a third of the UK. CityFibre needs retail customers though and it already has a handful of big names on board in Vodafone, TalkTalk and Zen Internet. It has now added a new customer, or to be more accurate, inked an expansion deal with an existing partner. Giganet first hooked up with CityFibre in 2020 albeit on a limited basis, agreeing to use its network in 27 locations. It has now pledged to make its full fibre service available across CityFibre’s entire footprint. “Following a fantastic customer uptake from our initial CityFibre locations, the UK has made no secret of how much they appreciate reliable connectivity and excellent customer service from an ISP,” said Jarlath Finnegan, CEO of Giganet. He added that his company has frozen prices until at least 2023, which customers probably appreciate too, although that is only just over six months away. Price has always been a major consideration for fibre providers, be they challengers or incumbent, and with a difficult economic climate in the UK, pricing pressure is unlikely to lessen in the near future. Indeed, Jurassic Fibre, a network builder in the South West of England, this week used the rising cost of living in the UK, including rocketing energy prices, as a jumping off point to pitch a half-price fibre broadband offer, available until the end of June. “We hope that local people will take advantage of our offer to help keep their household utility bills down,” said Sarah Howells, Chief Customer Officer at Jurassic Fibre. It’s a laudable idea that will benefit many people in the region…as well as getting bums on seats for Jurassic Fibre.

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