Next Generation PONs Important for Future Capacity Needs on Fiber Networks: Nokia Official

25G PONs are ideal to connect customers to 10G or higher speeds, a Nokia rep said.

Next Generation PONs Important for Future Capacity Needs on Fiber Networks: Nokia Official
Photo of David Eckard of Nokia

WASHINGTON, June 7, 2023 – Providers need to adopt next generation passive optical networks in fiber builds to make the most of federal investments, said David Eckard, vice president of the Broadband Partners at Nokia, at a Fiber Broadband Association event Wednesday.

A PON service can support multiple clients from a single router by splitting a fiber-optic strand from an optical line terminal. It differs from an active optical network which dedicates each end user their own fiber optical line by an electrically-charged switcher that manages the signal distribution from the fiber line to service the end destinations. Both technologies are solutions for fiber-to-the-home network connections, but PONs are often preferred by providers because of the lower cost of deployment.

The 10-gigabit symmetrical PON, or XGS-PON, and the symmetrical 25G PON are evolutions of Gigabit PON, which only provides 2.5 Gbps downstream and 1.25 Gbps upstream.

The industry is beginning to face capacity issues with GPONs which are still being widely deployed, said Eckard. He said that more and more services are requiring higher capacity and the demand will continue to increase as applications evolve to fill capacity capabilities.

Providers need to ensure that they are building the right type of network to support these new applications, he said, pointing to the recently released Apple virtual reality headset set to be released early next year as an example of increasing capacity demands.

Deploying 25G PONs is ideal for providers that want to provide customers with 10G or higher speeds and ensure future applications will be supported by their networks. He predicted that businesses will be the first adopters of 10G and higher speeds.

Eckard also said adopting next generation PONs on fiber networks will also ensure that providers get the most from federally allocated programs like the $42.5 billion Broadband Equity Access and Deployment program administered by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. That money is expected to be allocated to the states by June 30.

According to network operators, XGS-PON is the preferred standards and networks are being upgraded to meet the standard.

Nokia is a sponsor of Broadband Breakfast.

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