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Intelligent access and "The Power of And"

Twitter: @nokianetwork

Batman and Robin.

Strawberries and cream.

Lennon and McCartney.

There are some things that are meant to go together. We all have our favorites, and technology has them too; when two concepts combine and unleash a new dimension of power.

OK, that sounds like a premise for a bad superhero movie... but let me elaborate.

We’re on the cusp of a new era in fixed broadband. After years of making networks faster, we’re entering an age of superior in-home connectivity and software-defined access networks that are also making networks better and smarter. In Nokia, we’re calling this the era of Intelligent Access.

From fixed or wireless to fixed AND wireless

In each of these domains – faster, better and smarter – it is the combination of different technologies (the power of and) that is making the difference.

In making networks faster, our fiber-to-the-most-economical-point strategy still epitomizes the right way to choose technologies. But in Intelligent Access, fixed-mobile convergence will finally become reality. It’s no longer fixed or wireless technology; it’s fixed and wireless.


Firstly in terms of convergence, as mobile networks densify with 4G and soon to be 5G small cells, the fixed network is the perfect solution for backhaul. There’s also the power of and in hybrid access, where you use both fixed and wireless technologies to connect a subscriber. This gives you higher peak speeds, redundancy and instant activation. Finally, a new generation of fixed-wireless access solutions means that FTT-antenna now sits alongside FTT-cabinet, curb and building as a valuable fixed access option.

However, as broadband services to homes and businesses have improved, they’ve often been let down by the connectivity at the other side of the network termination point. Poor in-building wiring or Wi-Fi is responsible for more than 30% of calls to a broadband operator’s helpdesk. So to make services better, the next power of and means delivering a gigabit experience both to and throughout the home. This reduces customer service costs and improves customer loyalty. It also positions the operator as the enabler of smart home services like aging in place and home security. Likewise, extending connectivity throughout the home allows operators to gather intelligence that can be used to predict and prevent in-home connectivity issues.

Virtualization has arrived at the fixed access network

In terms of making the network smarter, the power of and is in the network and the cloud. Virtualization has finally arrived at the fixed access network. Select functions can be virtualized and then programmed from the cloud, allowing operators to deal with increased complexity through centralized control and intelligent automation. But the key word in that last sentence is “select”. Certain functions are better off staying in the network, especially where latency is critical. Operators will, therefore, need to manage a mix of physical and virtual functions in their networks.

Intelligent Access is about gigabit broadband through fixed and wireless technologies, to and throughout the home, from the network and cloud. The power of and is everywhere. Which gives me a great idea for a sequel...

For more information, visit our dedicated Intelligent access webpage.

Share your thoughts on this topic by replying below – or join the Twitter discussion with @nokianetworks using #IntelligentAccess

Stefaan Vanhastel

About Stefaan Vanhastel

Stefaan Vanhastel heads the CTO function for Nokia Fixed Network and continues to lead global marketing for fixed access products and solutions. With a PhD in Electrical Engineering and over 20 years of experience in the IT/telecommunications industry, he keeps it simple: “I’m a technology marketeer by day, a wildlife/nature photographer at heart, and cat caregiver at home”. Connect with Stefaan on LinkedIn.

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