NO ‘ONE SIZE FITS ALL’ FOR ACCESS NETWORKS
Prysmian CEO highlights why innovative access networks are key to achieving superfast broadband
There is no standard solution that will best fit all telecom access networks and change is not likely to happen any time soon. That was the message delivered in London today by Valerio Battista, CEO of Italy-based cable manufacturing giants Prysmian Group.
Mr Battista was speaking at a session of European business leaders at London’s ExCel centre, where the FTTH Council is staging its 10th anniversary conference and exhibition.
“All the substantial growth in optical fibre deployment is now concentrated in the access layer, since the long-haul networking is already largely in place – almost 75% of all our new fibre installations are now for access networks and this is a trend reflected within the industry,” he said.
“But not all access networks are the same, and network operators need to work closely with their suppliers to achieve innovative solutions.”
Battista went on to talk about how the regulatory framework varies from country to country, as does the network topography and the range of legacy infrastructures which may need to be upgraded or re-built. He cited a range of examples from Prysmian’s own in-the-field experience of where close cooperation between the operator and supplier has spawned innovation.
“We work individually with network operators to find cabling solutions to lower the total cost of installation and to connect everybody to fibre. In this way we are able to develop, with our customers, easier to install, efficient and less costly fibre networks which will bring faster broadband closer to everyone, everywhere,” he said.
Much of this work is in developing a fibre optic cable design that fits with existing infrastructures, from sewer networks in Paris to an existing ducting network in Jersey and an airport infrastructure in the town of Almond in the Scottish Highlands.
“These are just three examples of the exciting range of opportunities we have been given to use what is already available, if we take a step back and look at the options,” said Battista. “In the end there is no standard solution that will best fit all telecom access networks – in this rapid growth phase and with the huge variety of environments, we must continue to invest in innovation to deliver the solutions our customers want.”
Valerio Battista has over 20 years of experience in the industry, initially with the Pirelli Group and then with the Prysmian Group, which he has led since 2005. He was responsible for the restructuring and reorganisation of Pirelli Cavi, which in the period 2002-2005 was taken from zero profit to being one of the most profitable and competitive in its industry. In 2005 he played a key part in the creation of the Prysmian Group, leading to its flotation in 2007 and guiding it to its current status as world leader in the energy and telecom cables industry: with 22,000 employees and 98 plants around the world, Prysmian Group is one of Italy’s most international companies.