The coming combination of Distributed Access Architecture, Cloud Compute and the Generic Access Platform offer much promise to the network operator. However, the radical changes in the way distribution networks are built and managed will require new ways of envisioning the network and its capabilities. The new network is ripe with the potential of new revenue generating services and at the same time, fraught with the new engineering and operations issues that operators will have to overcome.
This paper will discuss the engineering challenges of pushing equipment and services out to the edge, all the way to the strand, and provide an outline of how manufacturers are working to overcome the space and power constraints that come from moving transmission and compute equipment out of the head end and out into the edge of the network. It will also discuss the operations considerations such as training and tooling field staff to be prepared to manage this increasingly complex network. Lastly, it will offer some forward-looking proposals of future revenue generating services that the converged, intelligent, edge network of the future will support