Passive Optical Networks

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A passive optical network (PON) is a point-to-multipoint, fiber to the premises network architecture in which unpowered optical splitters are used to enable a single optical fiber to serve multiple premises, typically 32-128. A PON consists of an Optical Line Termination (OLT) at the service provider's central office and a number of Optical Network Units (ONUs) near end users. A PON configuration reduces the amount of fiber and central office equipment required compared with point to point architectures. Downstream signals are broadcast to each premises sharing a fiber. Encryption is used to prevent eavesdropping. Upstream signals are combined using a multiple access protocol, invariably time division multiple access (TDMA). The OLTs "range" the ONUs in order to provide time slot assignments for upstream communication. A PON is a shared network, in that the OLT sends a single stream of downstream traffic that is seen by all ONTs. Each ONT only reads the content of those packets that are addressed to it.

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The OLT consists of three major parts:      service port Interface Function. . cross-connect function. On the distribution side. etc. Optical Distribution Network (ODN) interface. 10G. or 100 Mbit/s Ethernet  standard time division multiplexed (TDM) interfaces such as SONET/SDH or PDH at various rates  ATM UNI at 155-622 Mbit/s The OLT is connected to the switched network via standardized interfaces. it presents optical access interfaces according to this and other G-PON standards.Optical Line Terminal (OLT)  The OLT provides the interface between the PON and the backbone network. jitter. These typically include:  Internet Protocol (IP) traffic over Gigabit. power budget. in terms of bit rate.

OLT functional block diagram .

and delineation of Protocol Data Unit (PDU) for the cross-connect function. internal architecture in OLT and other factors. Each PON TC selects one mode of ATM. and ONU management. GEM and Dual.   . the ODN interface function and the PON TC function. such as GEM. OLT provides cross-connect functionality according to selected modes.   2) Cross-connect shell The Cross-connect shell provides a communication path between the PON core shell and the Service shell. media access control. ATM or Dual. DBA. Technologies for connecting this path depends on services.  1) PON core shell This block consists of two parts. 3) Service shell This shell provides translation between service interfaces and TC frame interface of the PON section. PON TC function includes framing. OAM.

GEM and Dual. Each PON TC selects one mode of ATM.35). However. and  network termination equipment (NTE). which provides the separate. instead of this function. etc. These services can include voice (plain old telephone service (POTS) or voice over IP (VoIP)). which terminates the PON and presents a converged interface – such as xDSL or multiservice Ethernet – toward the user. Often. the cross-connect function can be omitted.  . the ONT functions are separated into two parts:  the ONU. data (typically Ethernet or V.Optical Network Terminals (ONT)  The ONT terminates the PON and presents the native service interfaces to the user.). RS530. service MUX and DMUX function is specified to handle traffic. video. ECL. and/or telemetry (TTL. native service interfaces directly to the user The functional building blocks of the G-PON ONT are mostly similar to the functional building blocks of the OLT. Since the ONT operates with only a single PON Interface (or maximum 2 interfaces for protection purposes).

ONT functional block diagram .

and the OLT may provide a fixed bandwidth allocation to each such service that has been provisioned. meaning that the transmission delay from each ONT is unique. The grant map is dynamically re-calculated every few milliseconds. ONT upstream transmissions could collide if they were transmitted at random times. such that each ONT receives timely bandwidth for its service needs.Upstream bandwidth allocation  The OLT is responsible for allocating upstream bandwidth to the ONTs. for example – is burst and highly variable. DS1 and some classes of data service may also require constant upstream bit rate. Because the optical distribution network (ODN) is shared.   . But much data traffic – internet surfing. the OLT transmits so-called grants to the individual ONTs. The OLT measures delay and sets a register in each ONT via PLOAM (physical layer operations and maintenance) messages to equalize its delay with respect to all of the other ONTs on the PON. Some services – POTS. Once the delay of all ONTs has been set. ONTs can lie at varying distances from the OLT. A grant is permission to use a defined interval of time for upstream transmission. for example – require essentially constant upstream bandwidth. The map allocates bandwidth to all ONTs.

NSR DBA has the advantage that it imposes no requirements on the ONT. and reduces its allocation accordingly. In NSR DBA. according to the traffic engineering concepts of statistical multiplexing. both in time and in size. the OLT observes a large number of idle frames from the given ONT. a PON can be oversubscribed for upstream traffic.   . If the ONT has no traffic to send. The only special feature in the PON architecture for downstream oversubscription is the fact that the ONT must be able to accept completely arbitrary downstream time slots. If the OLT observes that a given ONT is not sending idle frames. Once the ONT's burst has been transferred. Through dynamic bandwidth allocation (DBA). in the same way that any LAN can be oversubscribed.) There are basically two forms of DBA. status-reporting (SR) and non-status reporting (NSR). (Downstream traffic can also be oversubscribed. it transmits idle frames during its excess allocation. it increases the bandwidth allocation to that ONT. the OLT continuously allocates a small amount of extra bandwidth to each ONT. and the disadvantage that there is no way for the OLT to know how best to assign bandwidth across several ONTs that need more.

each with its own priority or traffic class. as well as the size of each T-CONT's backlog. The report message contains a logarithmic measure of the backlog in the T-CONT queue. By knowledge of the service level agreement for each T-CONT across the entire PON. the OLT polls ONTs for their backlogs. . the OLT can optimize allocation of the spare bandwidth on the PON. The ONT reports each T-CONT separately to the OLT. A given ONT may have several so-called traffic containers (T-CONTs). In SR DBA.

It will also be WDM-PON compatible.  BPON (Broadband PON) is a standard based on APON. Verizon is in the process of installing millions of lines. . It also created a standard management interface.3av  10GEPON (10 Gigabit Ethernet PON) is an IEEE Task Force for 10Gbit/s backwards compatible with 802. while British Telecom and AT&T are in advanced trials. and choice of Layer 2 protocol (ATM. It supports higher rates.3ah  EPON or GEPON (Ethernet PON) is an IEEE/EFM standard for using Ethernet for packet data.984  GPON (Gigabit PON) is an evolution of the BPON standard.PON classification and Standards     ITU-T G. called OMCI. It adds support for WDM. enhanced security. GEM. IEEE 802.983  APON (ATM Passive Optical Network). enabling mixed-vendor networks. In early 2008. IEEE 802. It was used primarily for business applications.3ah EPON. ITU-T G. and survivability. and was based on ATM. dynamic and higher upstream bandwidth allocation. between the OLT and ONU/ONT. 10GigEPON will likely multi-lamda downstream and continue to use a single lamda with ATDMA for upstream. Ethernet). This was the first Passive optical network standard.

and has therefore been referred to as APON (ATM PON).983 being referred to more often as broadband PON. and has since standardized on two generations of PON. GPON Encapsulation Method (GEM) allows very efficient packaging of user traffic. the standards permit several choices of bit rate.History of PON  Early work on efficient fiber to the home architectures was done in the 1990s by the Full Service Access Network (FSAN) working group. The older ITU-T G. Further improvements to the original APON standard – as well as the gradual falling out of favor of ATM as a protocol – led to the full.488 gigabits per second (Gbit/s) of downstream bandwidth. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) did further work.  . with frame segmentation to allow for higher Quality of Service (QoS) for delay-sensitive traffic such as voice and video communications. or BPON. A typical APON/BPON provides 622 megabits per second (Mbit/s) of downstream bandwidth and 155 Mbit/s of upstream traffic. but the industry has converged on 2. The ITU-T G.244 Gbit/s of upstream bandwidth. Again. although the standard accommodates higher rates. final version of ITU-T G. formed by major telecommunications service providers and system vendors. variable-length packets.983 standard is based on asynchronous transfer mode (ATM).984 (GPON) standard represents a boost in both the total bandwidth and bandwidth efficiency through the use of larger. and 1.

 .3 Ethernet frames with symmetric 1 gigabit per second upstream and downstream rates.org/3/av/).ieee802. EPON is applicable for data-centric networks. The IEEE 802. using one wavelength for downstream traffic and another for upstream traffic on a single Nonzero dispersion shifted fiber (ITU-T G.3 Ethernet PON (EPON or GEPON) standard was completed in 2004 (http://www. The specification calls for downstream traffic to be transmitted on the 1490 nanometer (nm) wavelength and upstream traffic to be transmitted at 1310 nm. starting in early 2006. A PON takes advantage of wavelength division multiplexing (WDM). The 1550 nm band is allocated for optional overlay services. EPON uses standard 802. as well as full-service voice. Recently.652).org/3/). typically RF (analog) video. as part of the Ethernet First Mile project.ieee802. work began on a very high-speed 10 Gbit/s EPON (XEPON or 10-GEPON) standard (http://www. data and video networks.

called the optical distribution network (ODN). and either term is used generically to refer to both classes of equipment. In apartment buildings. most common is 28 dB of loss budget for both BPON and GPONm but products have been announced using less expensive optics as well. The GPON address space accommodates service to up to 128 ONUs on a single fiber. Forward error correction (FEC) may provide another 2-3 dB of loss budget on GPON systems. As with bit rate. the difference between an ONT and ONU is frequently ignored. one or more user nodes. In practice. 28 dB corresponds to about 20 km with a 32-way split. Ethernet data. toward the user. the 28 dB budget will likely increase. or video. and may present one or more converged interfaces. at speeds up to 100 megabits. An ONU is the PON-side half of the ONT. such as xDSL or Ethernet. A PON consists of a central office node. An ONU typically requires a separate subscriber unit to provide native user services such as telephony. and the fibers and splitters between them. terminating the PON. called an optical line terminal (OLT). An ONT is a single integrated electronics unit that terminates the PON and presents native service interfaces to the user. the ONT often separately connects via VDSL or Ethernet to the apartments. the standards describe several optical budgets. called optical network units (ONUs) or optical network terminals (ONTs). As optics improve.  .

but most networks designed in 2008 use GPON or GEPON. The currently deployed PON (e. but Ethernet PON benefits from maturity.g.. WDM-PON. Gigabit PON offers greater bandwidth and functionality.. Carriers looking to deliver the latest broadband services over fiber access have a choice of PON technologies. APON. GPON is most common in the West. In china.Current Status of PON   TDM-PON Both APON/BPON and EPON/GEPON have been deployed widely. This is different from the multiplexing manner discussed below. GEPON more common in Asia. GPON) is named as TDM-PON.  . e. in which the bandwidth is shared among the users in the manner of time domain multiplexing.g.

and end users demand higher bandwidth. Corecess and Korea Telecom have done important research. WDM-PON can provide more bandwidth over longer distances by devoting more raw optical bandwidth to each user. Novera Optics Inc. making it less sensitive to the optical losses incurred at each optical splitter. The multiple wavelengths of a WDM PON can be used to separate Optical Network Units (ONUs) into several virtual PONs co-existing on the same physical infrastructure. being pioneered by several companies. and by increasing the link loss budget of each wavelength. which supports the WDM PON deployment in Korea. is a type of passive optical networking. that uses multiple optical wavelengths to increase the upstream and/or downstream bandwidth available to end users. or WDM-PON. Alternatively the wavelengths can be used collectively through statistical multiplexing to provide efficient wavelength utilization and lower delays experienced by the ONUs. has introduced first products.  WDM-PON Wavelength Division Multiplexing PON. This technology looks forward to a day when optical technology is cheaper and easier to deploy.  .

or DPON/DPON. Some DPON systems may optionally support the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) 9 and 14 specifications for the delivery of Ethernet Transport services including Ethernet LANs (ELAN). and point to point Ethernet Transport (ELINE) services. In short it implements the DOCSIS Operations Administration Maintenance and Provisioning (OAMP) functionality on existing EPON equipment. Ethernet Virtual Private Line (EVPL). It makes the EPON OLT look and act like a DOCSIS Cable Modem Termination Systems (CMTS) platform. is a type of passive optical networking. . being proposed by several companies. In these instances the DPON system also acts as an IP/MPLS Provider Edge (PE) Router.  DOCSIS-PON Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS) PON. that implements the DOCSIS service layer interface on existing Ethernet PON (EPON or GEPON) Media Access Control (MAC) and Physical layer (PHY) standards.

.  RF-PON or RFOG Radio Frequency PON (RF-PON) or Radio Frequency over Glass (RFOG) or Hybrid-Fiber-Coax PON (HFC-PON) or Cable PON. Implementations vary by vendor and there are no standards for the return portion of the RF overlay for PONs. is a type of passive optical networking. In the forward direction RF-PON is an optical overlay for existing PON such as GPON or GEPON/EPON. The overlay for RF-PON works in the same way that some CWDM PON or potential WDM-PON overlays work. RF-PON offers backwards compatibility with existing RF modulation technology. It offers a means to support RF technologies in locations where only fiber is available or where copper is not permitted or feasible. that proposes to transport RF signals that are now transported over copper (principally over a hybrid fiber and coaxial cable) over PON. Reverse RF support may be provided by digitizing and transporting the upstream or return RF into the digital PON upstream overhead. but offers no additional bandwidth for RF based services. or by the use a of a CWDM overlay.

The Future of PON  On paths to next-gen PON: There are two general approaches. There’s been some talk about trying to unify those standards. There’s an expectation that GPON. Two standards bodies are working on 10G: The IEEE is working on an Ethernet or EPON flavor. the other is to run multiple wavelengths on the same fiber and use wavelength-specific filters at the [optical network terminals]. but one general trend we see is more interest in 10 Gb/s GPON for business or enterprise services. because of the way it was standardized by FSAN and the ITU. It’s still early. depending on how many wavelengths you want to run and the performance [you need]. but that hasn’t progressed very far. similar to current GPON but run at faster speeds like 10 Gb/s.  . both in the standards bodies and among most vendors: the higher line rate. even if the framing mechanisms and protocols are different. is a little more stringent in meeting [service level agreements]. That could be either using DWDM or CWDM wavelengths. and [Full Service Access Network] has started on a successor to 2.5G GPON at 10 Gb/s. Right now at least the optics or lasers used could be used for both technologies.

There’s going to be varying points of view from technology companies: increase power.  . It depends on your confidence level in your optics and your assumptions about span design. We see the 10G flavor of EPON [more among] CLECs or [in] developing countries like China. If you want to maintain 20 km and 32-way splits. If you think your main markets are going to be high-density big cities in Asia or Europe. On 10G PON: There’s a number of alternatives on how to do 10G. and it will boil down to: What’s your assumption of [outside plant] span design? Do you still think you have to meet 20 km and 32-way splits? That was driven very much by a North American model — typical suburbia. Also. A lot of different approaches will be suggested. shorten distances. have really good receiver designs (or combinations of those things) or go to parallel modulations. reduce split ratios. you’ve got to increase your launch power on 10G or have very good receiver designs that can handle signals with low receive levels. GPON can support an embedded synchronization mechanism if you want to do something that requires synchronization like TDM-type emulation. 32-way splits with 20 km may not make sense. where the service provider may not have lots of existing infrastructure or their main target is to get high-speed Internet to as many customers as possible.

5. On hybrids: For example. Whether you can add a filter to your current ONTs or will need to replace them depends on the design of your current ONTs. but it’s four times 2. . Most people in the standards bodies wouldn’t consider that true next-gen PON.5G on four wavelengths an interim step between current GPON and NG GPON. running 2. say. You’d need to put wavelength filters at the ONTs. It’s a hybrid.5 Gb/s PON on. NG PON is either 10G or DWDM PON. four CWDM wavelengths on the same fiber at the same time — technically there’s 10 Gb/s running on the fiber. A lot of people consider running 2.

Will RF overlay still be needed at the point 10G GPON comes on the scene? I don’t know. How quickly will that change over time is the crystal-ball question. The IEEE is not considering [RF video] at all for 10G EPON. one of the wavelengths has to be reserved for RF. But it has major implications for how you approach the cost of the technology. Getting a customer to say. RF overlay impacts the ONT and splitter designs. . In a hybrid approach. Verizon is still not very comfortable with IP video. On RF video: That’s one of the issues being debated in FSAN as they look at 10G. you run into interference issues with [radio frequency] wavelengths. If your solution to 10G is to increase the transmission power at the [optical line terminal]. Customers like to have options. ‘I’ll never do another RF wavelength’ — customers tend not to be telling us that.

5G hybrid approaches in the next year or two for niche applications — business parks or residential high-rises. On upstream bandwidth: There’s no clear consensus yet on what you do upstream but lots of discussion on the trade-offs and costs. What comes after 3.   . Hybrid 2. You might see 2. with mass deployment in 2011 or later. 3. WDM PON will probably be the same.0 might drive a move to WDM. On the timing of commercial NG PON gear: In 2010 you might start to see early products.5 Gb/s gear is theoretically feasible now. if not further out. On DOCSIS 3. and that’s debatable.0 is really driving interest in NG PON.0 and NG GPON: I don’t think 3.0 creates at best parity with GPON.

The End. .

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