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Alcatel-Lucent recently announced that Vodafone has moved its TWDM PON lab trial to the field, joining Energia Communications (Japan) as an initial technology adopter. Vodafone was an early TWDM PON collaborator with Alcatel-Lucent, seeking a future-proof wireline broadband access solution for residential and non-residential applications, including mobile backhaul (MBH) for data traffic, a service that is subject to ever greater demand.

TWDM PON underpins Vodafone’s FMC monetization strategy

For several years now Vodafone has been public regarding its intentions to adopt TWDM PON, stating that the technology would enable greater control over network capacity and increased flexibility for new service provisioning. Vodafone is best known as a mobile operator with more than 446 million subscribers worldwide. However, it has been on a wireline network buying spree with acquisitions including Cable and Wireless (UK), Kabel Deutschland (Germany), Ono (Spain), and Hellas Online (Greece), thereby building a substantial wireline footprint.

Wireline broadband networks and subscribers are important to Vodafone. They enable the offering of quad-play services to consumer (voice, data, video, mobile voice) and enterprise customers. In February this year, Vodafone Global Enterprise announced its win with Deutsche Bank to support fixed and mobile voice services across 28 countries.

Wireline networks also support cloud-based services and OTT partnerships for applications. Vodafone has a strong existing base of OTT partnerships such as Spotify for streaming music services and Sky Sports Mobile TV. Vodafone can now extend these well-known OTT services to its wireline subscriber base, offering competitive content.

Perhaps the greatest benefit to Vodafone is TWDM PON’s ability to enable the backhauling of ever increasing mobile data traffic. With TWDM PON, Vodafone can converge on a single access network for residential and enterprise customers as well as support of its own rapidly growing MBH traffic. This convergence enables Vodafone to save significant operational expenses, such as leasing of MBH services from wireline operators.

TWDM-PON provides a platform for growth, enabling bandwidth expansion – a clear advantage to an operator with worldwide leadership aspirations.


Further reading

“Energia signals that TWDM PON has moved to field-testing,” TE0017-000047 (June 2015)

OC FTTx Forecast Spreadsheet: 2014–20, TE0017-000046 (June 2015)

Market Share Spreadsheet: 1Q15 FTTx, DSL, and CMTS (Revenues), TE0006-001073 (May 2015)

Market Share Spreadsheet: 1Q15 FTTx, DSL, and CMTS (Units), TE0006-001072 (May 2015)

“Vodafone wins Deutsche Bank deal – but so does HP,” TE0005-000689 (February 2015)

Vodafone Group Update, December 2014, TE0014-000299 (December 2014)

Ovum White Paper – TWDM PON is on the horizon (October 2014)


Julie Kunstler, Principal Analyst, Components and Intelligent Networks

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