Time to turn telecom copper into mobile gold, says Genesis

Genesis Technical Systems claims copper enhancement is the way forward

Broadband solution specialist Genesis Technical Systems claimed copper holds unrealised potential for both fixed and mobile operators, saying it is “time to tap into technologies that turn copper into mobile gold.” The Canadian firm claimed the economics of small cell deployments makes fibre less attractive than enhanced copper solutions.

Speaking at the Broadband World Forum in Amsterdam, Genesis President and CTO Stephen Cooke argued bonded copper solutions, for example, can provide enough capacity for increased data traffic volume especially in suburban areas where growth is strong and copper widely available.

“In a technological landscape that is constantly growing, changing and developing, it’s good to take a step back and evaluate existing infrastructures,” Cooke said. “It is important not to ignore the properties and capabilities of what is already in place. Rolling out the next big technology does not mean investing vast amounts in fibre just because the market demands seem to say so. There are some very exciting technologies that really stretch copper’s capabilities.”

According to Genesis, which develops DSL rings and mBond technologies used for copper network enhancement, the problem with small cells is the amount of fibre that is needed to support the cells, making it too costly to implement. The company said each deployed small cell has to make a profit on its own, and as less people use each of them, it is hard to ensure the accumulated cost of installation, equipment and access to power is economical enough to justify the process.

“Revolutionising existing copper by using a bonding solution is one of the least expensive backhaul options available. It provides a great opportunity for fixed incumbents to become mobile players by using the existing copper network to provide backhaul bandwidth and power to small cells.”

It is true that the cost of small cells pose a bit of a problem. Often the added cost is transferred directly to the consumer, with some cases of customers having to pay extra for small cells to have the same level of connectivity as others on the same broadband subscription tariff have in other areas.

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