Broadbandtrends recently conducted it annual global service provider survey of leading broadband operators regarding their plans to deploy 10G PON technology within their network. 10G PON offers operators the opportunity to offer both higher bandwidth and symmetrical services, while simultaneously addressing the bandwidth, latency and the densification requirements of the emerging 5G network.
Demand for increasing bandwidth was already accelerating with the growth of streaming applications. However, the current COVID-19 pandemic quickly shifted usage patterns with the rapid transition to remote applications for all facets of daily living. While the initial surge of bandwidth has settled down back into normal levels, the need for reliable and sustained higher bandwidth has become an imperative for consumers.
As such, operators continue to evaluate and deploy network migration strategies that will ensure their customers have sufficient bandwidth to support both current and future applications. Although a variety of ultra-broadband solutions are available across both copper and fiber-based networks; operators are rapidly transitioning towards an all fiber network.
While the deployment of Fiber-to-the-Home has been the choice of forward-thinking operators for nearly 20 years – the growth in streaming video, gaming and smart applications (car, home, health, city, etc.) are causing more operators than ever before, to embrace these technologies for their networks. In addition, the bandwidth, latency and the densification requirements of the 5G network, are sending a clear message to operators that the time is now for FTTH.
GPON remains the most prevalent FTTH technology. However, its current bandwidth capabilities and its asymmetric characteristics do not provide enough capacity to support the “new normal” with respect to bandwidth demand. Therefore, operators are looking at the latest iterations of the PON standard – 10G PON – for their future network requirements. At present, there are a variety of 10G options available to operators – including 10G EPON, XG-PON1, XGS-PON, NG-PON2 as well as ongoing standards activity related to 25G/50G PON solutions.
NG-PON2 is considered the ‘ultimate” future proof technology – offering multiple wavelengths supporting up to 40Gbps and capable of serving multiple/different segments on each individual wavelength. Additionally, the ability to bond wavelengths together to offer even higher bandwidth options, positions this technology well for future bandwidth growth. However, due to continuing cost concerns regarding tunable lasers, focus is shifting towards 25G/50G solutions that enable co-existence with existing GPON, EPON and XGS-PON, offering faster speeds at lower costs than NG-PON2.
Key characteristics that are attracting operators to these next-generation PON solutions include the ability to offer a converged network for both residential and business services, support for multi-gigabit residential broadband along with the ability to re-use many portions of their existing optical distribution network (ODN). However, there remains great concern regarding the coexistence and migration from the existing network to the new network.
Unlike previous PON networks – which primarily served residential customers – the variety of applications that can be supported with 10G PON is opening up new market segments that could help offset cost concerns for operators. As such, many operators are initially targeting the high-value business/enterprise segments for their early deployments to achieve a faster ROI.
To position their networks for future growth, many operators plan to take a step-wise approach to their 10G PON migration with a large majority focusing on XGS-PON for the first phase of their roll-outs. Although operators have expressed a strong interest in NG-PON 2 – the timing for this migration remains well into the future for a large majority, with more operators looking towards 25G solutions for future bandwidth needs.
From a vendor perspective, most vendors are offering 10G PON solutions that leverage the capabilities of software-defined access to enable operators the benefits of increased automation and network programmability, faster service activation, accelerated innovation cycles, and new business models that can derive additional value from their network. In addition, many vendors are offering flexible optics that allows a 10G PON OLT to utilize multiple types of optical transceivers to achieve best cost alignment and ease cost concerns. Finally, vendors are also introducing innovative solutions to overcome the “interoperability” concern, helping to accelerate time to market for new product introduction.
To conclude, as the current COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated, demand for highly reliable, sustainable broadband is here to stay and will only continue to grow. As such, it has become an operational imperative for operators to invest in solutions that will the network to meet the requirements of both today and the future.
Broadbandtrends’ Global Service Provider 10G PON Deployment Strategies survey analyzes the results from interviews with 48 incumbent and competitive operators in all major regions, about their plans and deployment strategies for 10G PON. The report provides a global overview of the results as well as commentary on any notable regional differences found in the results.
Key Questions Answered in this study includes the following:
- What are operator timelines for the deployment of 10G PON?
- Which 10G PON technology will be deployed and which market segments will it serve?
- What are the key drivers for deployment of 10G PON technology?
- What are the top challenges/concerns related to the deployment of10G PON technology?
- Which services will be deployed via 10G PON?
- What is the timeframe for residential 10G PON deployment?
- What multi-gigabit speeds will operators offer in the residential market?
- Which 10G PON migration path will operators take?
- What is their timeframe to migrate to NG-PON2?
- How important is Nx10G Wavelengths for NG-PON2
- When do operators expect to need greater than 10G PON solutions?
- What is the top factor influencing 10G PON vendor selection?
- Has COVID-19 accelerated your deployment of 10G PON and if so, by how much?
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