NG-PON 2 Almost Ready for Primetime, ADTRAN Exec Says
Network operators could start deploying NG-PON 2 technology in their networks by mid-year, giving them an efficient, interoperable migration path that opens doors to new business and revenue opportunities, a senior ADTRAN executive told UBB2020 Radio.
Although NG-PON 2 is a relatively new standard, it's already enjoying success in trials with multiple major network operators, most notably Verizon, which recently concluded successful interop testing between optical line terminal (OLT) vendors Adtran Inc. (Nasdaq: ADTN) and Calix Inc. (NYSE: CALX) (with partner Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC)), and optical network terminal (ONT) component vendors Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) and Cortina Access . (See Verizon Seeks Multi-Vendor NG-PON2 Nirvana .)
Verizon will allow NG-PON 2 to operate "one network," said Kurt Raaflaub, head of strategic solutions marketing at ADTRAN, during the Jan. 12 radio show hosted by Light Reading Editor-in-Chief Ray Le Maistre. And tests have been so successful that larger-scale rollouts are on the horizon, he said. "That's really why we're talking about it here in 2017 because the standard's going to start hitting the ground running by the middle of this year," said Raaflaub. (See 2017: The Year of NG-PON2.)
The fiber access technology can deliver 10 Gbit/s connectivity without expensive, time-consuming backhauling or additional fiber installations, said Raaflaub.
Like 10 Gig EPON and XGS-PON, NG-PON 2 can deliver 10 Gbit/s but the access technology also has up to eight tunable 10 Gbit/s optics, he said.
"So that's 80 Gbit/s of capacity you could be playing with here on your existing fiber plant," Raaflaub added. "It's 10 Gbit/s, it's multi-wavelength and it's actually symmetric as well, which is really special for service providers -- 10 down, 10 up. And that's not typical for fiber-to-the-home technology."
While most residential users barely make a dent in Gigabit connections (if they're lucky enough to have one), continuous growing corporate demand for high-definition video, Internet of Things (IoT), security, big data and other high-bandwidth applications, coupled with the anticipated arrival of 5G, make NG-PON 2 a natural fit for enterprise customers, according to ADTRAN. With NG-PON 2 operators can more easily target multiple dwelling units (MDUs), for example, because it provides them with "a single universal technology to deliver services," whether it's virtual reality to a home, high-bandwidth enterprise connectivity or synchronization in a mobile backhaul network, Raaflaub added.
Interoperability was top-of-mind in the standard's design, he said.
"It uses by definition the exact same optical distribution network, the same passives, the same everything [that is already in place]," notes the ADTRAN man. It just involves installing an OLT in the central office and then buying and installing ONTs for the customers you want to connect to the next-gen system. "It's that simple," said Raaflaub. He notes that there will be some "OSS/BSS work" that needs to be done too, but that's where the introduction of software-defined access capabilities will play a role.
Hear what else Raaflaub had to say, including more insight on software-defined access, the challenges of introducing NG-PON2 and economies of scale by listening here.
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