Now there is a solid business case for fiber to the home

One technology to unlock the potential of any fiber-optic network

In its essence, our technology is a huge benefit to any optical access network. It does not matter if the fiber connection goes to the home, the business or the mobile mast. It’s one technology to unlock the potential of any fiber-optic network. In every case Bifrost Communications like no other company can improve performance. And we can do it at a low cost.

Our components make it easier to consolidate business, mobile and residential networks by improving receiver sensitivity and making receivers tuneable. By this, our patented technology makes not only large cost savings but also significant efficiency improvements possible for operators globally.

Total Internet traffic has experienced dramatic growth in the past two decades and will to continue to increase enormously – nearly threefold – in the coming years.

Only fiber can meet the increasing demand for bandwith

Fiber-based internet is the only solution that can meet the increasing demand for more bandwidth and therefore, operators – Internet Service Providers (ISPs) – are converting their traditional copper-based access networks to fiber-based networks. In addition, the densification of 4G/5G mobile access services will require massive deployments of new fiber.

Internet Service Providers are struggling to meet demand for more bandwidth due to the inefficient way the technology today let operators utilise fiber. To overcome this and converge to a single network, a new multichannel optical network standard (NG-PON2) has been launched.

However, to date, equipment vendors cannot provide high performance equipment that meets all NG-PON2 classes.

4 x Distance – 8 x number of users - 10 x less Central Offices

With Bifrost Transceiver for the Fiber-Internet Access Market

Conventional optical networks are highly ineffective

Industry insiders know that conventional optical networks are highly inefficient. Today operators need to build three separate access networks next to each other: One for business customers, one for mobile users and one for home users. That is a tremendous waste of resources and capacity. Industry outsiders should imagine three railroads running many kilometres side by side to reach end customers less than 100 meters apart. That would be unimaginable. Nevertheless, that’s the reality of fiber optic access networks today.

Bifrost Communications have invented a technology that at a reasonable cost makes it possible to merge the three separate fiber optic access networks to one network (FTTx). Our technology makes it possible to utilize all existing capacity in each of the fibers. Today, particularly the fiber to the home access network (FTTH) is only capable of utilising a fraction of the capacity.

Fiber-to-the-Home/Premise/Business or mobile towers (FTTx) is widely viewed as the only access network technology capable of meeting the demand of increasing bandwidth of 5G coverage.

Conventional optical networks are highly inefficient because they only use a single wavelength channel, limiting the bandwidth to 2,5 Gbps and the number of users to 32. Therefore, current technology will be unable to support future broadband demands where each user will demand 1 Gbps or more. Equally important, due to the limitations of current optical networks, Central Offices must be located within 10 km of end-users or 4G/5G masts. Finally, as already pointed out, due to their different requirements, three physical networks are generally deployed for residential users, business users and mobile users, respectively.

The result is that operators – Internet Service Providers – need too many fibre cables and too many central offices that use too much energy, while failing to generate sufficient revenue for the operators to be really profitable. There is thus an enormous need for a single system that meets the scale and flexibility needs of enterprises and 4G/5G densification services, whilst also delivering cost-effective solutions needed for mass market residential applications.

Central offices are where most of the energy in the access network is consumed. Central Offices are manned buildings where internet providers terminate customer lines and locate switching equipment that interconnects those lines.

90 percent of central offices can be decommissioned

Our solution increase the distance to the central office by a factor 4, and allows for 8 times more end users on the same fiber, thereby enabling the Internet Service Providers to decommission up to 90 percent of the central offices, thus making their business case much more attractive.

To realize the need for a single system and simultaneously increase distance and capacity of fibre based networks, a set of requirements was defined and concretized in the formulation of the NG-PON2 standard, which specifies the use of 4-8 wavelength channels per fibre, each operating at 10 Gbps downstream and 10 Gbps upstream. However, there is no equipment in the market capable of meeting all requirements of the NG-PON2 standard and achieve this cost-effectively.

Read more: The NG-PON2-standard (chart produced by the Broadband Forum’s NG-PON2 council).

Watch the system integrator Calix explain why NG-PON2 rocks. Calix is one of is the world’s leaders for fiber optic communication equipment.

Our patented technology is the only solution today that cost-effectively can meet the link budget of even the toughest NG-PON2 class (E2).

A solid business case for fiber to the home

With our technology there for the first time exist a solid business case for Internet Service Providers for rolling out fiber to all homes and replacing the existing DSL-technology build on the often more than 100 years old copper access net. And with our technology it will also be possible to roll out fast 5G mobile networks without running into bottlenecks and lack of capacity.

Our product is a tiny piece of hardware – a signal processing chip (ASIC) – which, together with the license to use our technology, will enable customers to manufacture transceivers that meet all NG-PON2 classes.

Read more: Our product.

More channels and more sensitivity

Bifrost Communications have developed a quasi-coherent detection technology that can bridge that gap and more. We thus aim to seize a major market opportunity through the testing, maturation and commercialization of a disruptive technology for optical transceivers for central office and ONU (optical network unit, which is the equipment at the consumer’s premises) that allows operators to use 4-8 channels on a single fibre. Enabling coherent detection in access networks may become the biggest change of paradigm since the introduction of fiber.

Our technology increases receiver sensitivity more than 10 times and consequently can provide performance even beyond the highest NG-PON2 Class (E2). It stipulates the ultimate desire of the internet Service providers (ISPs), to be able to reach 256 users at a distance of 40 km from the central office. It has the highest specified link budget (total optical loss) of 35 dB. Today no other equipment vendor can offer this solution at a reasonable cost. Solutions are only available for the lowest class “N1”, which can reach 128 users over 20 km. Bifrost has demonstrated E2 link budget for upstream transmission using N1 class ONU transmitters and a Bifrost receiver in the central office. ONUs converts electrical data to optical signals for upstream transmission, and converts the downstream transmitted optical signal to electrical data. If Bifrost receiver technology in the central office is adopted by the NG-PON community, this could yield very large savings in system costs, as N1 ONUs are expected to be much lower cost than E2 ONUs – and N1 ONUs are available now, whereas E2 ONUs are not, and will not be for a very long time unless implemented as outline here.

Read more: About Bifrost Communications.

Our technology

Initial discussion by CTO Jesper Bevensee Jensen about the Bifrost technology.

Listen to our story

CTO Jesper Bevensee Jensen taking the stage during the finals of the Danish Tech Challenge 2017, presenting the Bifrost solution, before winning the grand prize of DKK 500.000 (in Danish).