HUNTSVILLE, AL — ADTRAN, a provider of next-generation networking solutions, announced an expanded offering of Multiple Dwelling Units (MDU) Optical Network Terminals (ONT) for its broadband portfolio. Leveraging both pure fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) and enabled fiber-to-the-building (FTTB) deployment architectures, ADTRAN is enabling operators to rapidly expand premium gigabit services into hard to reach dwellings such as existing high-rises, apartment buildings and other occupied MDUs.

According to the US Census Bureau, MDUs represent 31 percent of all residential buildings in the U.S., with as much as 80 percent of the population residing in this type of housing in some areas of the country. As a result, operators are looking to define a comprehensive strategy on how to best approach this fast growing market segment. Deploying fiber to the MDU presents vastly different challenges from standalone single-family dwellings or small businesses because intra-building wiring is not an asset controlled by the operator, but by the MDU owner. Because of this, it is critical for service providers to understand the needs of the building owner. Operators are also challenged with addressing service continuity in a high tenant turnover environment and meeting the premium broadband expectations of Millennials – a key MDU demographic. The coexistence of commercial suites in these buildings can also help drive the need for premium service, but require delivery of both SLA-based business Ethernet services in addition to residential services over the same infrastructure.

“We are seeing a steady increase in global demand for FTTH services and foresee a near-term future where gigabit is available across a service provider’s entire subscriber base,” said Jeff Heynen, principal analyst, Infonetics Research. “While MDUs present a unique set of challenges in terms of density and complexity when delivering FTTH services, this demographic represents a significant business opportunity for service providers. It will be critical for service providers to ensure they are reaching this market with solutions that provide maximum flexibility for their gigabit service roll out, as well as meeting the high expectations of this broadband savvy audience.”

Maximizing the MDU Market Opportunity
ADTRAN is helping operators maximize the MDU market opportunity by addressing key cost issues and deployment complications associated with delivering gigabit services to these locations. Operators recognize that fiber all the way to the end user is the ideal deployment scenario, but optimizing service delivery for a particular dwelling and addressing the largest possible number of subscribers take precedence in these deployments. ADTRAN’s comprehensive portfolio of MDU solutions range from Micro ONTs (µONT) that allow for a permanent installation of fiber to the living unit (FTTLU) when capital is available to MDU ONTs that enable cost-effective, pay-as-you-grow gigabit delivery via the existing wiring inside the building. For example, in locations where only standard telco wiring exists and rewiring is impractical, ADTRAN helps service providers deliver higher speeds with an alternative, lower cost FTTB deployment model. ADTRAN is leveraging the new DSL acceleration standard – – to extend from 500 Mbps up to gigabit-like speeds over the existing CAT-3 in-building wiring. This enables operators to serve an entire high-rise MDU rapidly and economically to accelerate premium services while vastly reducing the construction time and level of disturbance to existing residents.

“MDUs represent a prime business opportunity for service providers around the country. Millennials are a large percentage of the residents in these buildings and place a premium on the availability and quality of their broadband experience. This type of residential demand makes MDUs a perfect target for gigabit service delivery,” said Darrell Brown, director of product management, broadband access, ADTRAN Carrier Network Division. “ADTRAN is making it easier for service providers to deploy these high-value services with FTTLU µONTs and FTTB architectures, which not only deliver the right technology solution, but also enable the service provider to build out a cost structure that makes good business sense to the building owners.”