Fiber OpticsAnyone following passive optical networking developments has a new acronym to add to the lexicon – XGS-PON. The standard, which is on a fast-track development path at the International Telecommunications Union, aims to match GPON capacity for residential services and to add 6 Gbps of symmetrical capacity for new services, including business services, explained Adtran Chief Technology Officer Kevin Schneider at the company’s Adtran Connect press event in Huntsville, Alabama on Wednesday.

XGS-PON Basics
XGS-PON targets network operators who have found other GPON upgrade paths too costly and/ or insufficient to meet the needs of business customers, who typically demand symmetrical service, said Schneider. Stakeholders hope to complete the XGS-PON standard by February 2016 and to get products based on it into production fast, he said.

The goal, Schneider said, is to “re-use some of the NG-PON2 [components] and optics designed for 10-gigabit EPON” in order to minimize costs and development times.

While some carriers are “forging ahead” with GPON upgrades that increase capacity using DWDM, “others are not ready for that cost point,” Schneider said. As an alternative, some network operators were considering 10G EPON, but “that would be a big change,” he noted.

XGS-PON is intended to meet the needs of those customers, he said.

Companies supporting XGS-PON development efforts include CenturyLink, China Telecom, Orange, BT, China Unicom, China Mobile, Adtran, Huawei, ZTE and Fiberhome, according Schneider.

Schneider also noted that “the next big thing” in the Full Service Access Network carrier group focused on PON will be bonding wavelengths together.