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What the future holds for next-
generation PON technologies
Passive optical network technologies help user
organizations achieve higher bandwidth, cost-
effective speed upgrades, flexible network
topology and legacy system compatibility.
BY QING XU, Belden
The only way to benefit from emerging
applications like the Internet of Things
(Io T), 4K video streaming and next-generation wireless is by having the right
network backbone in place. These developments help all types of businesses
be more productive and efficient, but
they also have high local area network
(LAN) bandwidth requirements.
Passive optical network (PON)
technology, including Ethernet passive
optical networks (EPONs) and Gigabit
passive optical networks (GPONs), is
being deployed globally in optical access networks for broadband network architecture such as FTTx (
fiber-to-the-X) architecture that supports
the emerging applications you keep
Leveraging the mature technical solutions developed for PONs, passive optical
LANs (POLANs) can sometimes offer advantages over traditional LANs for higher
bandwidth, cost-effective speed upgrades,
flexible network topology and legacy system compatibility, to name just a few.
In this article, we introduce
next-generation PON technologies,
and illustrate the POLAN deployment
and future migration path.
PON is a network that only uses fiber and passive components like splitters and combiners (splitting ratio of
1: 32 or higher) rather than active components like amplifiers, repeaters or shaping circuits.
It makes use of wavelength division
multiplexing (WDM) technology to increase the bandwidth per fiber and supports point-to-multipoint networks.
PON-enabled FTTx deployment is
the most popular residential and business broadband access technology. As of
The Full Service Access Network (FSAN) Group developed the initial Gigabit
Passive Optical Network architecture. ITU-T continued the work and standardized
newer generations of PON.
Table 1: I TU-T GPON standards
ITU-T GPON family
Wave length Data speed
Downstream Upstream Downstream Upstream
148-1500 nm 1290-1330 nm 2.448 Gbits/sec 1.244 Gbits/sec
Outdoor: 1575-1581 nm
1260-1280 nm 9.953 Gbits/sec 2.488 Gbits/sec
Outdoor: 1575-1581 nm
1260-1280 nm 9.953 Gbits/sec 9.953 Gbits/sec
Tunable 1596-1603 nm
PtP WDM 1603-1625 nm
1528-1540 nm 4x 9.953 Gbits/sec 9.953 Gbits/sec