• Technical Conference:  30 March – 03 April 2025
  • Exhibition: 01 – 03 April 2025
  • Moscone Center, San Francisco, California, USA

OFC is a buzz, 5G plays a role, which brings us to PON

By Julie Kunstler, Principal Consultant, Broadband Access at Ovum

What does 5G have to do with PON? 5G requires significant upgrades to wireline networking in order to support the bandwidth along with numerous bandwidth-intensive applications. PON, with its point-to-multipoint architecture has a role to play in supporting the massive 5G rollout and cell densification plans. In addition, WDM-PON may have found an application, finally.

On Monday, the Beyond 10G Workshop was packed with attendees interested in technical presentations on 25G, 50G and 100G PON. Several service providers are well on their way to 10G PON upgrades, such as China Telecom with 10G EPON OLT upgrades and Verizon with NG-PON2 deployments. Both China Telecom and China Mobile will be deploying XGS-PON later this year along with AT&T. By 2023, Ovum expects next-gen PON OLTs to dominate shipments, reaching almost 70% of total OLT shipments.

Verizon bypassed XGS-PON (10G symmetrical GPON) and is deploying NG-PON2. When evaluating XGS-PON to 2.5G GPON, Verizon stated that the bandwidth difference did not justify the resources required for an access network upgrade. Basically, 5X downstream was not going to provide enough bandwidth runway. Verizon’s strategy focuses on “universal” access, using the access network to support residential and nonresidential customers and applications.
China Telecom held a workshop in February with component and equipment vendors to review options for using PON for 5G MBH (mobile backhaul) and MFH (mobile fronthaul). China Telecom is evaluating WDM-PON given its inherently lower-latency parameters than TDM PON.

However, there are concerns that the second drawback to PON for MFH is around bandwidth. Both the IEEE and the ITU-T are working on next, next-gen PON standards, such as 25G or 50G. China Mobile wants 50G GPON standards to be finalized by 2020 at the latest so that major deployments in 2023 are doable.

At the Network Operator Summit Panel #2 – On the Road to 100G PON, five service providers presented their respective approaches to next-gen PON along with their goals for supporting residential and nonresidential customers and applications. They afforded the attendees a rare glimpse into their decision processes and time frames for incorporating new PON technologies.

Their presentations were valuable for both vendors and other service providers. Vendors had the opportunity to ask questions around product parameters and performance expectations. Other service providers had the opportunity to ask questions around network monetization. Both vendors and service providers were provided details on how PON can meet the transport-type requirements of MBH and MFH in the 5G era.

Posted: 14 March 2018 by Julie Kunstler, Principal Consultant, Broadband Access at Ovum | with 0 comments

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The views expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition (OFC)  or its sponsors.