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Posts Tagged ‘ GbE ’

Emerging Wireless Technology Trends on Campus – Part 5

By Mike Collado
November 1st, 2013

In the final post in our series that has explored wireless technology trends on college and university campuses, we examine the strategies and technologies that will emerge both near-term and further out to address the “data tsunami“.

Higher Education represents what we believe to be one of the most challenging wireless environments.

In our first post, we introduced what is currently the most prolific wireless user: students who’ve grown up in the connected world; who possess multiple wireless devices; and don’t consider bandwidth limitations an option.

The next post focused on university IT Departments that have the unenviable challenge of meeting the wireless expectations of students while operating within shrinking budgets.

Our third post reintroduced Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) which have been deployed on campuses for over 10 years but have become pivotal in recent years to provide capacity for overburdened macro networks as well as coverage for public-safety services. We also identified a funding conundrum which often leaves student dormitories and other buildings unfunded in favor of stadiums and hospitals.

Then in our fourth post, we explored the role of Wi-Fi in the “toolkit” approach to enabling the heterogeneous network (Het-Net).

Convergence and Fiber Networks

Networks are evolving to handle more data; faster, and more perfectly. They will continue to change rapidly – demand on the infrastructure depends on it.

Two key trends in campus technology include convergence and fiber networks.

Increasingly DAS networks will be called upon to support both cellular and public-safety services. The fledgling in-building public-safety market of today is similar to the early days of neutral-host cellular DAS, when building owners insisted on a single platform, as opposed to having three systems installed by three different shareholders.

Meanwhile, Gigabit Ethernet fiber multiplexing solutions will increasingly be deployed to solve fiber exhaustion.

Demand for throughput is being driven by the explosion in Wi-Fi enabled mobile devices, and the emergence of bandwidth-intensive cloud-based services, social networking, advanced collaboration and medical applications. Data throughput and speed are typically constrained by the point-to-point fiber optic links that connect campus buildings.

Fiber multiplexing solutions use wavelength divisional technologies to channelize fiber strands – increasing the capacity of existing fiber deployments without the need to install or lease costly new fiber strands.

As an example, a single strand of fiber can deliver multiple wavelength channels each running symmetrically at 1Gbps up and down stream. This represents significant CAPEX and OPEX savings.

Shift to Fiber and Digital DAS

Although copper cabling (CAT 5 & 6) has long been the standard, over time, the industry will shift to a fiber infrastructure to meet throughput requirements.

Put simply, today’s copper may not be high enough quality to support 1GE speeds. Further, the physical medium of copper is unable to support higher data rates of 10 GE.

Fiber infrastructure is physically smaller and lighter than copper, and is easily installed by technicians. Most importantly, fiber delivers almost unlimited room for future bandwidth expansion.

As a result, DAS will go digital.

Following the trends of convergence of services and the continued emergence of fiber, Radio Frequency (RF) and Internet Protocol (IP) will converge onto a single, digital architecture.

The platform will enable plug-in and support for cellular and public-safety communications, Wi-Fi services and other applications such as RFID, building automation, security and more.

We predict this infrastructure to similarly enable fiber-to-the-desktop.

Ultimately, these next-generation networks will be smarter and more flexible. They’ll handle increased data, enable better use of network resources, and scale capacity – up or down based upon use and need during peak and off-peak times.

At the core will be intelligent backhaul to centralize network management and lower operational expenditures.

This will be essential for higher education campuses.

How Long Will This Take?

Some of these trends may reach fruition by year’s end; others, currently under development, will be several years in the making.

No one fully knows what a good balanced network looks like.

We expect to see new technology trends develop at a rate of at least one new trend every two years, as demand – and solutions to meet demand – continue to grow and evolve.

The problems facing higher education campuses will only grow as they continue to struggle with disparate networks they don’t control, and unlicensed frequencies they cannot maximize or that do not have a clear ROI.

The urgent need to provide clear communication for public safety (hear from public safety experts here, here, here and here) and the exponential growth of the demand for capacity means that technology solutions will need to be consolidated offerings bringing multiple networks together.

They can be monetized and must provide unfettered access for students, employees, safety personnel, and the general public.

To be sure, the years ahead are certainly going to be interesting.

Your Turn

What are the key challenges and trends you are observing?

Note: A version of this article was originally published in 2013 Fall ACUTA Journal.

Building a Better Mousetrap for Hotels

By Mike Collado
February 12th, 2013


We announced yesterday that we’re debuting  the INFINITY ACCESS™ Passive Optical LAN (POL) Fiber-to-the Room (FTTR) solution for hotels during the 9th Annual HTNG North American Conference at the Westin Buckhead in Atlanta, February 25-28. 

This solution enables dedicated, symmetrical and secure high-capacity Gigabit Ethernet (1GE, 1Gbps) links to each hotel guestroom for delivery of next-generation IP-based voice, data and video services such as 4KTV.

So what’s the big deal?

The Challenge

Hotels are being challenged to provide multiple forms of high end connectivity to their guests as travelers become more tech savvy and increasingly dependent on staying in touch with the office, email, family, etc. while away from home. In-room entertainment in the form of HDTV, Video on Demand, streaming music significantly add to the load.

The amount of bandwidth per guestroom has and will continue to increase dramatically for some time.

This follows the overall bandwidth consumption trend forecasted by iGR: by 2017, mobile bandwidth in the U.S. will grow six fold from 2012 levels

What Must Be Done

Hotels need to deliver voice, video, and data to guestrooms, conference rooms, gym/spa, and even restaurants in a cost-effective manner that provides ample bandwidth for today’s needs.

More importantly, there needs to be a pathway for future growth as internet bandwidth demands increase; guestroom television viewing advances to 4KTV from today’s HDTV; and voice moves to VoiP.

The most economical way to do this is by delivering individual Gigabit Ethernet circuits to each room from a centralized server in the hotel’s data center.

Copper-Based Ethernet

One option is to deploy copper-based 1GE over existing Ethernet infrastructure in the hotel. This would alleviate running new cabling in the building.

Sounds good, but the risk is that the existing copper plant may not be high enough quality to support 1GE speeds.

What’s worse is that this path would provide little-to-no future growth because the physical medium will not support higher data rates (i.e., 10Gbps).


FTTR is the other option. While it will require deploying fiber optic cable from the data center to each floor and then from the data closet on each floor to individual rooms, fiber has the upside of being relatively easy to install and, most importantly, will provide almost unlimited room for future bandwidth expansion.

There are two basic ways to move data to the rooms: traditional GPON (Gigabit-capable Passive Optical Networks) and WDM-PON (Wavelength Division Multiplexing-Passive Optical Networks).

With GPON, a single fiber is deployed from the data center to a splitter in the floor closet, where individual fibers run to each room.

The upside is that GPON is established technology, cost-effective and widely-deployed.

The downside is that bandwidth per floor is shared among the rooms; that bandwidth is also asymmetrical.

And, while upgrading bandwidth is possible, it must be done on all devices at once. Which reveals a key risk: sharing. IOW, if a remote unit malfunctions, it means taking down an entire section of rooms. 

WDM PON – which is the technology SOLiD’s INFINITY ACCESS is based on – also uses a single fiber to the floor closet splitter and individual fibers to each room.

The difference is each room is served with its own unique wavelength running symmetrically at 1Gbps up and down stream.

Upgrading bandwidth to 10G is possible on a room by room basis, without affecting other rooms on the floor.

And service is maintained among a sector of rooms even if one room is down for maintenance because the individual wavelengths run to each room.

What Do You Think?

We predict an interesting debate among the hospitality industry with arguments for all three approaches.

Our take, however, is that the “data tsunami” trend in mobile broadband is similarly finding its way into the hospitality space (and other industries). And, therefore, it will be incumbent to choose and deploy infrastructure that is both highly scalable, stable and flexible.

We always enjoy interacting with you… in-person at industry conferences and SOLiD training events as well as virtually through The Inside Story (please subscribe) and on LinkedIn (follow us).

Ready or Not, Here we Come!

By Mike Collado
February 4th, 2013

Team SOLiD

Energy and excitement best describe the tone at SOLiD’s just-completed 2013 kickoff meeting in Cupertino.

For starters, we closed 2012 having tripled our sales with high-profile projects at Paul Brown Stadium, Duke University, Kaiser Permanente, Denver Sheraton and the New York City Subway.

And because we had doubled our staff since our 2012 kickoff meeting, this was the first chance for some to connect a face with a name.

Lastly, Dr. Seung Hee Lee, CEO of our parent company, had flown in from Seoul specifically to join our meeting.

The SOLiD Mission

We have aligned our organization – from sales and marketing to finance, support and logistics – to support a single mission:

To lead the markets we serve with best-in-class products and services

Dr. Lee shared with us that SOLiD was founded on the principle of innovating technology to solve industry problems in new ways.

We continue to back that up with products such as the ALLIANCE multi-service DAS platform which supports cellular, public-safety, private 2-way radio, and paging on a single infrastructure using one strand of fiber.

Of course, great technology and products don’t mean much without great service and support. That’s why our mission also includes a passion for raising the bar to ensure that SOLiD solutions are optimally designed, installed and managed.

SOLiD Values

We have similarly identified three key values around which we strive to uphold every day:

Creativity | Honesty | Reliability

Everyone at SOLiD is empowered and encouraged to explore new ways to solve problems through technology innovations, new applications of existing products or fresh business processes and perspectives.

We foster a culture of trust and doing the right thing. Our team is committed to addressing issues both candidly and directly.

Lastly, we’re dogmatic about living up to our promises and commitments. SOLiD has and will continue to move mountains for our customers and partners.

What’s Next?

SOLiD is in the network enablement business.

For wireless, radio resources will need to get closer to the user.

And for buildings, there will need to be a ton of capacity available that today’s networks simply can’t provide.

We’ve said it before that DAS and fiber networks are converging.

We believe that networks must become multipurpose. They must be easy to deploy to accommodate growth and change. And they must lower costs.

In 2013, we expect the INFINITY ACCESS optical transport solution to be deployed by both carriers and venue owners for 1GE and 10GE DWDM applications; to enable Fronthaul and Backhaul for Small Cell and WiFi Offload; and for Passive Optical LAN deployments at hotels, hospitals and campuses.

What’s on Your Mind?

If you have recently participated in a 2013 Company Kickoff Meeting, what were the key outcomes and areas of focus?

We always enjoy interacting with you… in-person at industry conferences and SOLiD training events as well as virtually through The Inside Story (please subscribe) and on LinkedIn (follow us).


Dr. Lee - CEO of SOLiD, Inc.


Ken Sandfeld (Vice President), Seth Buechley (President), David Bledsoe (Sales Engineer) and Matt Atkins (Inside Sales)


Kurt Dadd (Sales Engineer), Shane Hague (Sales Director) & Charlie Hancock (Sales Director)


Kurt Dadd (Sales Engineer), Dadrian Carrington (Sales Engineer) & Saeed Anwar (CTO)

We’re Exhibiting & Presenting at NTCA – Come See Us!

By Mike Collado
February 9th, 2012

Please join us at Booth #104 during the NTCA Annual Meeting & EXPO on February 14 & 15 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego. We’ll be showcasing our ClearLight ACCESS™ fiber multiplexing solution, which increases existing fiber plant capacity 16x.

This is no ordinary multiplexor… ClearLight ACCESS features patented tunable laser technology which delivers long-haul high-capacity digital distribution efficiency at middle-mile economics for rural telecom providers.

Service providers struggling with fiber exhaustion are invited to attend our case study presentation on Tuesday, February 14 at 3pm in Room Ford B on Level 3 to hear how Empirical Networks solved its capacity shortage problems.



Cliff Crowder, CEO of Empirical Networks faced a serious challenge. Demand for bandwidth and capacity from the telecom provider had created a shortage of network capacity and fiber exhaustion – which meant missed revenue opportunities.

Instead of pulling new fiber, Empirical deployed ClearLight ACCESS™ from SOLiD Technologies.

Please join Mr. Crowder at the NTCA Annual Meeting to learn how he increased capacity 16x with Empirical’s existing fiber plant and lowered CAPEX and OPEX costs with ClearLight ACCESS.

Mr. Crowder will share why he chose ClearLight ACCESS, how his team deployed it within minutes, how it expanded his product line, the ROI benefits and more.

Join us on Tuesday, February 14 at 3pm in Room Ford B on Level 3 in the Hyatt. Or, stop by Booth #104 to say hello.