With gigabit services based on passive optical network technology gaining significant traction, perhaps it’s not surprising that manufacturers are announcing the next generation of PON equipment. Adtran yesterday announced a new offering based on the NG-PON2 standard – and in an interview, Adtran Senior Manager of Strategic Solutions Marketing Kurt Raaflaub said he expects to see deployments in early 2016.
The offering can support speeds up to 10 Gbps per customer, making it well suited for supporting business and residential customers on the same platform, Raaflaub said. Service providers, he said, are “looking at the cost of deploying 10 gigabit service to businesses or for backhaul for 5G and the current way of doing things with point-to-point [technology] is very expensive.”
Being able to deliver residential and business services from a common platform should provide significant operational savings, as it would eliminate the need for network operators to install, maintain and manage separate networks. Raaflaub noted that some service providers have as many as 20 separate networks supporting business services, with two more networks dedicated to residential services.
NG-PON2 uses time and dense wavelength division multiplexing and provides 40 Gbps downstream capacity that is shared by all subscribers. That’s a considerable jump from the 2.5 Gbps shared by subscribers in today’s GPON systems.
At least one other manufacturer – Alcatel-Lucent – also has announced an NG-PON2 offering.
Within the last 12 to 18 months, many major network operators have been looking closely at NG-PON2, Raaflaub said. “The RFIs were coming out a year ago,” he said.
Raaflaub expects to see service providers conducting field trials of NG-PON2 equipment “almost immediately.”
Preparing for 10 Gigabit Service
Adtran claims an innovation for its NG-PON2 offering that Raaflaub said will differentiate it.
Service providers that don’t see a need for 10 Gbps infrastructure today but who expect to need it in the future can purchase the new Adtran offering with lower-cost optics that support the speeds typically offered by today’s PON systems. At a later date the service providers can swap out the initial optics for tunable optics capable of supporting the higher speeds, leaving the rest of the equipment intact.
The product also supports software defined networking, paving the way for network operators to use a cloud-based approach to security and routing functions that traditionally would reside on a network interface device, Raaflaub said.