Since 2008, Tellabs has worked diligently to expand its fiber installation offerings to more industries. What started as a fiber to home solution has grown to a fiber to commercial real estate building solution that includes campuses, federal government buildings, and hotel chains. Now the company, which helps service providers connect their access networks in a cost effective manner and provides Passive Optical LAN solutions, is looking for the next vertical where it can make its presence felt.
“Now we find ourselves in this hand-to-hand combat of finding the next market,” Tellabs Marketing Director John Hoover told Connected Real Estate Magazine. “We’re trying to get into public venues, mixed use, transportation and manufacturing.”
Tellabs is counting on entities like reseller integrators to position the company’s solutions on its behalf to expedite its presence in those markets. However, the company understands its technological offerings have to match those industries’ current needs.
“We recognize this is the new technology and sometimes we have to get ahead of our partners,” Hoover said. “So we do have a push-pull strategy.”
How Tellabs helps CRE
Tellabs’ solutions have made fiber installation more efficient and less messy for CRE owners. Typically when a traditional network that was heavy with copper connectivity was installed, racks and stack of switches would be put in a building’s telecommunications closet—on each floor. Then, CRE owners were hindered by the limitations on how far the cabling could reach to connect to Ethernet ports.
Meanwhile, Tellabs solved this issue by placing an Optical Line Terminal (OLT) in a building’s main data center. The OLT is meant for installations dealing with limited space in data centers, communications closets and outdoor remote cabinets. Tellabs’ FlexSym OLT6 shelf in particular is equipped with power rectifiers that are integrated with the distribution shelf that make installations go faster.
By putting the OLT in place, fiber cable can be run up the building’s risers, and down to where the Ethernet device is, leading to connectivity. There’s no longer a need to open up walls to run cables through.
“This is what connects to all of the (Internet of Things) devices and all the smart building endpoints,” Hoover said. “We just get better density over fiber. You get better capacity over fiber. It is a ‘future proof’ infrastructure—in the old days we had a (Category) 3 (cable), then Cat 5 and there’s a Cat 6 and 7, and who knows where it’s going to stop.
“It’s the same with multi-mode. We are building it over single-mode fiber and there are no known limits to that fiber once you get it into the building. The building owners that do this won’t have to worry about opening up walls and ripping out cabling every three to five years. That’s the basic architecture that we are providing.”
How Tellabs has set itself apart from the competition
In July, Tellabs introduced its FlexSym Series Optical LAN (OLAN) software release. The OLAN solution is geared to, “help our customers right-size 10 gigabit connectivity with many flexible choices to optimize networks’ speed, space, power, and costs, for desired performance over a fiber-based enterprise LAN.” IT professionals, architects, consultants and engineers can use Tellabs’ OLAN solution to build enterprise local area networks flexibly to support current network speeds and scale up to 10 gigabits of symmetrical connectivity.
“I know 10 gig may sound like old news, but in the enterprise there aren’t too many places that can have the opportunity to put 10 gig to the endpoint,” Hoover said.
Tellabs’ 10-gig solution will also play into the sixth generation of Wi-Fi, or Wi-Fi 6. Currently, it takes connectivity of more than one gig to access it, meaning building owners with traditional designs will need to buy twice as many cables, ports, switch modules, etc. in order to support two gigs—much to vendors’ delight.
“The switch and cable industry is making (money) on this, but the problem is, you’ve just added space, heat thermal, radiation and also have a lot of vulnerability points relative to security,” Hoover said. “How is passive Optical LAN architecture different? Since we have this fiber-based solution and we transport over 10-gig fiber connectivity, you can pick and choose the endpoints that you have. A lot of IoT and smart building devices don’t even need one gig. We will keep those on the typical gigabit connectivity.
“But your WAPs (Wireless Access Points), we can put that all on a multi-rate port. It could be 2.5 gigs, 5 gigs or if you have a server that you need 10 gigs on. What we’ve done, down to the end device is allow you to design a system that actually aligns costs, power and space relative to the true bandwidth requirements based on what you’re connecting. It’s very unique.”