Adtran: Existing All-Fiber Networks Are Ripe for Upgrading

– The Optical Fiber Is Not Obsolete But Needs Newer Gear (Guess Whose)

Is there any end to consumers’ increasing and insatiable demand for bandwidth? Even service providers that have built all-fiber networks are faced with the need to increase the bandwidth they offer by upgrading their once seeming future-proof fiber infrastructure.

Broadband equipment maker Adtran says that several broadband service providers have started field trials of its XGS-PON next-generation 10Gbps broadband products.

The trials are being conducted by a range of service providers from new entrants to municipal/utility providers to international tier 1 telcos.

They are evaluating fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) services based on Adtran’s new XGS-PON architecture, which Adtran says it has been a leader in developing. XGS-PON is a new ITU 10G PON standard that bridges the gap between today’s FTTH technologies and the coming NG-PON2.

It said that XGS-PON makes possible now 10Gbps bandwidth over new or existing fiber infrastructure and doubles the useable lifetime of a fiber network. It will also, it said, enable service providers “to achieve greater profitability with converged residential and expanded business services for the first time.” It said that it provides “the capacity, reliability and flexibility needed for premium business and mobile backhaul services, while also delivering the price points and scale required for mass market residential applications.”

Ben Lovins, SVP at Jackson Energy Authority’s telecommunications division in Jackson, Tennessee, said, “XGS-PON is allowing us to exceed our customers’ bandwidth needs today while still proactively planning for future network build outs and capabilities. The ability to deploy on our current fiber network while still using the same passive and active plants allows us to greatly improve the return on our existing fiber network investment. We have already begun to see the customer economic and business benefits of next-generation broadband services within our hospitals and school systems and look forward to enabling continued growth and development in our community.”



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Ryan McCowan, fiber access product manager for Adtran said, “These trials are demonstrating new opportunities to converge residential Gigabit broadband and premium optical business services over a common 10Gbps access architecture. XGS-PON allows service providers to double the life of their current optical network investment while gaining a head start towards future network capabilities.”


Q & A with Adtran

We asked Adtran some questions about the matter. Here are its answers:

Q: What are the upper limits of existing fiber networks in terms of bandwidth?
Adtran: The majority of FTTH networks around the world are PON based and the most popular PON deployment is GPON.  GPON is defined by ITU G.984 with bandwidth of 2.5 Gbps downstream and 1.25 Gbps upstream.   This speed is not a limit of the fiber but is indicative of the technology limits that existed at the time it was defined for mass market deployment.  There are no inherent speed limits associated with the fiber itself—only the optics that drive the wavelengths.

Q: Are new deployers of all-fiber also interested in the XGS-PON technology? Why? How much more bandwidth does it have?
Adtran: In short, the answer is yes. XGS-PON provides 10Gbps symmetric compared with GPON that provides 2.5Gbps down and 1.25Gbps up.

Q: When is NG-PON2 coming? What advantages will…

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