Founding Partners Supported by

Automation of Cable Layer Design for FTTH networks


The increasing competition in telecom industry drives the need to provide services more quickly in a cost effective manner. The costs associated with the design and build of new access networks are high, and upgrading existing networks to provide the required services can be very expensive. 

The objective of this project is to develop an optimization system based on different techniques to minimize the cost of FTTH network planning. Specially, the aim of the system is to automate and optimize the cable layer design in the distribution side of a FTTH network by generating optimal locations of network equipment and routing of cables. Given a connected network (i.e. a duct network, a connected road network) or a legacy network with existing copper cables, the system produces the FTTH design while still satisfying the given planning rules. In addition, the system can be used as a standalone application or a separate optimization module can be developed to integrate an existing GIS system based on the web service technology to provide value added features.

Estimated business benefits

  • 10-20% reduction in the capital cost of the FTTH network and up to 80% improvement in the planning/design time.
  • The more complex the network design, the greater the saving over the manual design approach.
  • Automatic generation of cable design, bill-of-materials and scheme deployment costs, eliminates several man-days of previously manual effort.
  • Network design is compliant with given planning guidelines.
  • Lowering the skill level required for network design.
  • Ability to rapidly re-cost networks and compare what-if scenarios to meet changes in requirements.

Research focus

  • Extend the existing optimization system to handle additional requirements such as new planning rules and types of network equipment.
  • Conduct a comparative study of the existing optimization techniques for the FTTH design problem based on the quality of the solution, the execution time, the memory usage when handling very large networks and the flexibility to accommodate different design rules.
  • Explore different optimization techniques that handle multi-layer design problems and understand the pros and cons of new approaches.
  • Develop a generic optimization framework that tackles the planning of different types of networks as there are many similarities between telecom and utility networks.
  • Develop a design policy management engine to allow the planning rules of different type of networks to be expressed, changed and stored easily.

Fig. 1 Screenshot of EBTIC FTTH Network Design Tool