Optimization Approach For The Design of Large Scale FTTH Networks

  • Sara Alkhajeh

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The continuous rapid development in technology has led telecom services companies to constantly strive to enhance their networks in order to provide better service for their customers. It is due to the fact that the Internet infrastructure has become an important aspect to the world since it is believed to be an enabler to economical growth in the regions where it is provided. With the constant demand of higher bandwidth for the use of online applications such as gaming, video streaming, and data sharing, the legacy copper network and coaxial cables have been replaced with the fiber-optic line access networks. Fiber-optic cables offer high signal security due to its immunity towards electromagnetic interference and its low sensitivity to environmentally caused attenuation. On the other hand, in coaxial cables, natural attenuation has a huge effect on the copper wires resulting in a significant decrease in the signal bandwidth. Nonetheless, deploying the fiber-based network can be very costly, especially with the need of replacing the existing copper networks. Therefore, telecom companies are considering many different aspect of the Fiber-based network, before deploying. This is because poorly designed networks can be very expensive and result in high maintenance cost in the long run. A solution to that is to provide a cost effective solution for the network deployment. Initially the design process of the fiber-based networks was done manually, where the network planner tries to design the network by taking all constraints under consideration, without exceeding the budget allowed. However, this approach does not provide an optimal solution, and it is mainly effected by the planner's experience, and knowledge in network design. Thus, a more advanced method and techniques should be considered to provide an optimal solution to the network design, in such a way that it is easy to deploy and maintain the network. The design developed by the built tools in comparison to the quality of the manual design is considered far more efficient in terms of the number of equipment and cables installed in the network, and the time it takes to create the design. The network planner takes days to produce the design for one area. However, our optimization approach can provide the design of the network in minutes. This approach is focused on one type of fiber-based network, which is the Fiber-to-The-Home (FTTH) networks. The target of this work is greenfield areas where Gigabit Passive Optical Network technology is used to provide the fiber for each customer in the area. Two main contributions were successfully achieved for this research work. An efficient integer linear programming (ILP) approach is proposed to design a Fiber-to-the-Home network based on Gigabit Passive Optical (GPON) Network (FTTH/GPON) technology. The model decides simultaneously the location of the equipment and the routes for installing the cables. Several greenfield networks have been considered in this work to investigate the effect of handling real scenarios. The second phase of this research is related to branching techniques of cables for FTTH networks, where it is a continuation of the first phase with the added feature of the cable branching. The extension of the work is done to further reduce the total costs of the network, which is done by decreasing the number of cables used. Nonetheless, for some networks, it was difficult to obtain the optimal solution in adequate runtime. Therefore, a two-phase optimization technique is developed, for large area problems. In the first phase, the locations of equipment and number of fibers needed was obtained from the first proposed model. Afterwards, the cable branching technique was decided for the network in phase two.
Date of AwardJul 2022
Original languageAmerican English


  • FTTH
  • Optimization
  • Network planning
  • Integer linear programming
  • Tree topology
  • GPON.

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