Openreach connects first fiber customer using Adtran's GPON solution

Adtran
After primarily relying on Nokia and Huawei, Openreach turns up its first live customer using Adtran's GPON solution. (Adtran)

Openreach has turned up its first live subscriber using GPON gear and software from Adtran. Openreach, which is a division of BT Group, had previously provisioned its FTTP deployments by using Nokia and Huawei gear, but last year it named Adtran as a third option.

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While Adtran lacks the size of Huawei of Nokia, Openreach added it into the mix due to restrictions the U.K. government put in place on the use of some of Huawei's fiber and 5G equipment.

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Openreach is deploying Adtran's SDX series optical line terminal (OLT) posts and its Mosaic Cloud platform to support its GPON and XGS-PON network. Openreach plans to have 20 million locations passed with fiber by mid-to late 2020s. Openreach is also closing in on its previously stated goal of having four and half a million subscribers connected by next month.

"At the end of December last year, we smashed through our four million homes milestone, building to a record of 550k premises during Q3 and we’re on track to reach our target of upgrading 4.5 million homes and businesses by the end of March 2021," said Openreach's Peter Bell, director network technology, in an email to FierceTelecom. "We’re now building ultrafast full fiber to 42,000 homes and business every week, or the equivalent of over four premises a minute."

Bell said Openreach currently has a range of speeds offered as part of its fiber portfolio that go from 40 Mbps up to 1 Gbps on the downstreams with a range of upstream speeds.

Adtran's Kurt Raaflaub, head of strategic solutions marketing, said a fiber access technical trial with Openreach started in June of last year.

"Openreach was able to onboard and homologated the Adtran SD-Access solution very rapidly per the promise of software-defined access architectures," Raaflaub said. "The overall process, depending on the definition of installation, took between eight and 10 months, which is one half to one third the typical integration time to onboard a new vendor platform to support a nationwide service rollout to tens of millions of homes. 

"More highly capable full fiber technologies such as XGS-PON are now in a position to be rapidly operationalized to meet market demands due to the open, programmable and scalable attributes of SD-Access architectures."

Raaflaub said all Adtran's Tier 1 operators that it supplies open and disaggregated SD-Access solutions to have chosen to deploy both the SDX-series fiber access platform and the Mosaic Cloud network automation platform. Mosaic is Adtran's access domain orchestrator and SDN controller while the SDX-series provides the programmable network elements.

"Some of our alternative network operator customers have opted to integrate our SDX-series of vOLT and terabit aggregation switches into other off the shelf or homegrown management systems by leveraging the open interfaces of these cloud native network elements," he added.