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Provisioning 1 Gb/s symmetrical services with next-generation passive optical network technologies

Jose Alberto Hernández
Julio Montalvo
David Larrabeiti
IEEE Communications Magazine, vol. 54 (2016), pp. 72-77


Service providers spend billions upgrading their broadband access networks to the latest access standards. Fiber has become the technology of choice in the medium and long term, thanks to its speed, reach, and future-proofness. A differential advantage of fiber over other broadband access technologies is that it makes it possible for operators to deliver symmetric-rate services. Most of today's commercial offers based on regular PON range from 10 to 100 Mb/s of committed information rate, and higher rates are advertised as peak rates with unspecified guarantees. In this article we focus on delivering symmetrical 1 Gb/s access to residential users with a target temporal guarantee at the least cost using next-generation PON technologies. We compare four NG-PON standard access technologies, GPON, XGPON, WDM-PON, and the emerging TWDM-PON, from technical and economic perspectives. The study shows that if a service provider wants to keep up with the growing user traffic pattern in the long run, only TWDM-PON can provide 1 Gb/s nearly guaranteed at a moderate cost with respect to the fully dedicated 1 Gb/s point-to-point connection available in WDM-PON technologies.

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