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(IJCNS) International Journal of Computer and Network Security, Vol. 2, No. 10, 2010

Evolution Of FTTH As A Novel Subscriber’s Broadband Service Access Technology
P. Rajeswari1, N. Lavanya2 and Shankar Duraikannan3
Student M. E. Communication Systems, Department of Electronics And Communication Engineering, Ranippettai Engineering College, Walajah – 632 513
2 Student M. E. Communication Systems, Department of Electronics And Communication Engineering, Ranippettai Engineering College, Walajah – 632 513 1

Assistant Professor, Department of Electronics And Communication Engineering, Ranippettai Engineering College, Walajah – 632 513


Abstract: Internet access has become more and more convenient to the extent that it is now often seen by customers as a “utility”, a relatively undifferentiated key service. Emergence of new equipment which requires the optimal use of bandwidth like HDTV, mobile TV, wireless sound system, operators in recent years have developed more and more services requiring higher bandwidth. Without fiber, operators face a bottleneck on service development and therefore on the ability to develop new services and revenues. This paper focus on deployment of the FTTH using Ethernet and PON architectures. The comparative performance analysis of the architectures and the survey on different access networks emphasis that FTTH(using fiber optic cables) will be a promising technology for future bandwidth requirements and offers a way to eliminate the bottleneck in the last mile, with speeds 100 times higher than copper and also enables new applications and services within the digital home. Key Words: FTTH, Ethernet, Access, PON

1. Introduction
The increasing need in the telecommunication services is the key driver behind the development in the access networks. Among the various broadband access technologies like digital subscriber loop (DSL) and cable/modem, Fiberto-the-home (FTTH) is the end game for many service providers.

Since packets and frames of other categories of networks are transmitted over the broadband access networks, we need to find the technologies and the architectures that will enable cost effective transport of this traffic all the way to the home via an access networks. FTTH deployed with Passive Optical Network (PON) technology seems to be the best solution to alleviate the bandwidth bottleneck in the access network. FTTH is an access technology in which the optical fiber runs from the central office to the subscribers living or workspace. The optical line terminal (OLT) resides at the central office and optical network unit is on the customer premises. OLT and ONU are interconnected by means of an optical fiber. The function of an ONU is to provide the services received from the OLT to the Home. ONU can also serve many homes; in that case the network is called FTTC (fiber to the curb). Many applications like CATV, VOIP reaches the central office and the ONU converts them in to single wavelength and they are transmitted via optical fiber. Figure.1 represents the architecture of FTTH.

2. FTTH Architectures
FTTH can be deployed using either Ethernet or PON architectures. Ring, Star and Tree are the topologies that are considered and of which Tree is the mostly preferred and used topology [1]. FTTH architectures that have been deployed can be classified in to three broad categories. • Ring Architecture of Ethernet switches. • Star Architecture of Ethernet switches. • Tree architecture using PON technologies. 2.1 Point to Point Ethernet Based Architectures Ethernet (IEEE 802.3) is a widely used LAN standard. The requirements for rapid time to market and low cost per subscriber have favored network architectures based on Ethernet switching. Ethernet transmission and switching have become commodities in the enterprise networking market and have led to attractive costs, mature products, and rapid innovation cycles.

Figure 1. General architecture of FTTH

(IJCNS) International Journal of Computer and Network Security, 117 Vol. 2, No. 10, 2010

Initially in Europe, FTTH using Ethernet is based on the architectures where the switches are located in the basements of the multiple dwelling units that have been interconnected in the form of a ring. Such architectures provide excellent resilience against fiber cuts and it is cost effective. But the sharing of bandwidth over each ring is comparatively small and because of this reason star architectures are preferred.

typically, PON has a physical tree topology with the central office (CO) located at the root and the subscribers connected to the leaf nodes of the tree. OLT is the root of the tree and the ONUs are connected to the OLT the root, by optical fibers through passive optical splitter/combiners, which interconnects the ONUs. The function of an optical splitter (OS) is to divide the power among the users in the link. The maximum splitting ratio is 1:64 and 1:128 [6].i.e., OS can serve up to 128 users simultaneously.

Figure 2. General representation of point to point Ethernet networks Figure 2 represents simple point to point FTTH Ethernet architectures using star topology. A Dedicated link runs from the OLT to the home. The fiber may be a single mode with 100BX or 1000BX or a pair of fibers with 100LX or 1000LX. There are a number of specifications has been released in recent years and different interfaces to the physical layer were defined [1]. 1. 100BASE-LX10: point-to-point 100 Mbps Ethernet links over a pair of single-mode fibers up to at least 10 km. 2. 100BASE-BX10: point-to-point 100 Mbps Ethernet links over an individual single-mode fiber up to at least 10 km. 3. 1000BASE-LX10: point-to-point 1000 Mbps Ethernet links over a pair of single-mode fibers up to at least 10 km. 4. 1000BASE-BX10: point-to-point 1000 Mbps Ethernet links over an individual single-mode fiber up to at least 10 km. The supported maximum transmission speed is 100Mbit/s for slower links (100BASE–X) or 1000Mbit/s for faster links (1000BASE–X). 2.2 Passive Optical Networks-PON Architectures Passive optical networks (PON) are identified as an economic and future safe solution to alleviate the bandwidth bottleneck in the access network [4], [5]. A Passive Optical Network (PON) is a single, shared optical fiber that uses inexpensive optical splitters to divide the single fiber into separate strands feeding individual subscribers. As the name implies, passive optical networks are typically passive, in the sense that they employ a simple passive optical splitter and combiner for data transport. As shown in the Figure 3,

Figure 3. Implementation of PON 2.2.1. Traffic Flow In PON In PON traffic flow is outlined by Downstream and Upstream data flows. Transport from the service provider to subscriber is represented as Downstream and its counter part as Upstream. 2.2.1. a. Downstream Data Flow

Figure 4. Traffic flow in downstream direction


(IJCNS) International Journal of Computer and Network Security, Vol. 2, No. 10, 2010

The downstream represents the data transmission from the OLT to ONU. The wavelength preferred is 1490-1550nm, since the attenuation is very less 0.2 db/km. From the Figure 4, the services like voice, data and video etc., from different application networks transported over the optical network reaches the OLT and are distributed to the ONUs through the OS by means of power splitting. The optical splitter splits the power of the signal i.e., if there are N users the splitting ratio is 1:N. Due to power splitting the signal gets attenuated but its structure and properties remain the same. Each Home receives the packets intended to it through its ONU. 2.2.1. b. Upstream Data Flow The upstream represents the data transmission from the ONU to OLT. The wavelength preferred is 1310 nm. If the signals from the different ONUs arrives the splitter input at the same time at the same wavelength 1310nm, it results in superposition of different ONU signals when it reaches OLT. Hence TDMA [1] is adopted to avoid the interference of signals from ONUs. In TDMA time slots will be provided to each user on demand for transmission of their packets. At the optical splitter packets arrive in order and they are combined and transmitted to OLT.

2.3.1 Broadband PON (BPON) BPON is the first introduced PON standard. It is accepted and given a standard by ITU T as ITU T G.983 in 1999[7]. The Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) protocol is used to carry user data, hence sometimes access networks based on this standard are referred to as APONs [8], [9]. ATM uses 53-byte cells (5 bytes of header and 48 bytes of payload). Because of the fixed cell size, ATM implementations can enforce quality-of-service guarantees, for ample, bandwidth allocation, delay guarantees, and so forth. ATM was designed to support both voice and data payloads. Yet, the advantages of ATM proved to be the main obstacle in deployment of BPON and despite many field trails [10], [11] BPON did not gain much popularity. The APON protocol operates differently in the downstream and upstream directions. All downstream receivers receive all cells and discard those not intended for them based on ATM addressing information. Due to the broadcast nature of the PON, downstream user data is churned, or scrambled, using a churn key generated by the ONT to provide a low level of protection for downstream user data.In the upstream direction, transmission is regulated with a time-division multiple access (TDMA) system. Transmitters are told when to transmit by receipt of grant messages. Upstream APON modifies ATM and uses 56-byte ATM cells, with the additional 3 bytes of header being used for guard time, preamble bits, and a delimiter before the start of the actual 53-byte ATM cell. 2.3.2 Ethernet PON (EPON) EPON standards are set by the IEEE and represented as IEEE 802.3ah Ethernet first mile task force in 2001. Ethernet Passive Optical Network (EPON) is a point to multipoint network topology implemented with passive optical splitters that follows the Ethernet standard. It follows the specification 100baseX, 1000baseX. 2.3.3 Gigabit PON (GPON) In 2001 a new effort for standardizing PON networks operating at the bit rates above 1Gbps. The GPON standards were accepted by ITU-T in Jan 2003 and are known as ITU-T recommendations G.984 [1]. Apart from the need to support higher bit rates, the overall protocol has been opened for re-consideration and the sought solution should be the most optimal and efficient in terms of support for multiple services. The main GPON requirements are: • Full Service Support including voice (TDM, both SONET and SDH), Ethernet (10/100 BaseT), ATM, leased lines and more. • Physical reach of at least 20 km with a logical reach support within the protocol of 60 km. • Support for various bit rate options using the same protocol, including symmetrical 622 Mb/s, symmetrical 1.25 Gb/s, 2.5 Gb/s Downstream and 1.25 Gb/s upstream and more. • Security at the protocol level for downstream traffic due to the multicast nature of PON.

Figure 5. Traffic flow in upstream direction 2.3PON Flavors

Figure 6. Evolution of PON

(IJCNS) International Journal of Computer and Network Security, 119 Vol. 2, No. 10, 2010

3. Performance of FTTH Networks
Demand for the bandwidth is increasing with the emergence of new applications like tele-working, video conferencing, video telemetry. FTTH provides enormous bandwidth and long rich offering for triple play services(voice, data, video).From the Figure 7, the extent to which FTTH can provide greater bandwidth at lower cost is unmatched by any other technology[15].

the optical distribution network have a longer lifecycle of at least 30 years.

Figure 9.Cost considerations This longevity and the high cost of labor required in physical construction places strong demands on proper design of the fiber plant. Figure 7.Estimated bandwidth demand for future [15] Based on measurements of performance, FTTH performs better than other types of broadband and this performance gap is widening over time.

5. FTTH Forecast
According to the FTTH Worldwide Market-Technology Forecast, 2006-2011, as shown in Figure 10, the number of homes connected to fiber will grow from about 11 million at the end of 2006 to about 86 million at the end of 2011, representing about 5% of all households worldwide. Growth will be dominated by Asia (59 million households in the Asia Pacific Region – APAC – will have fiber by 2011). The rest of the subscriber base will be split equally between the Americas and the Europe Middle-East and Africa (EMEA) region [13].

Figure 8. Tested download performance of broadband media Mbps by year [14] The Recent Surveys on the use of broadband Figure 8, shows that, FTTH download speeds are currently 1.5 times faster than cable modem download speeds, and 5.7 times faster than the median DSL download speeds. In terms of upload speeds, FTTH is 3.2 times faster than cable modem, and 5.7 times faster than DSL [14].

4. Cost Considerations
From Figure 9, the cost of FTTH network equipment and installation cost is less compared to all other technology as the dominant part of the cost is the civil works which can be considerably reduced if the construction is planned in advance. Furthermore, while the FTTH network and its electronic elements have a lifecycle of many years, the fiber plant and Figure 10. Estimated growth of FTTH in EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa), APAC (Asia Pacific region) and America (2005-2011) [13]

6. Comparison of PON flavors
The selected characteristics of Existing PON flavors have been compared and summarized as in Table.1.

120 Table 1. Comparison of PON flavors

(IJCNS) International Journal of Computer and Network Security, Vol. 2, No. 10, 2010


ITU T G.983

IEEE 802.3ah

ITU T G.984 53-1518 BYTES 2..5 Gbps 1.25 Gbps 1490 – 1550 nm 1310 nm ATM ETHERNET TDM


53 BYTES 622Mbps 155Mbps 1490 - 1550 nm 1310 nm

1518 BYTES 1.25Gbps 1.25 Gbps 1550 nm 1310 nm






64 or 128


40 Mbps

75 Mbps

1.25 Mbps









[7] ITU-T, “G.983.1 - Broadband Passive Optical Networks (BPON): General characteristics,” June 1999. [8] David Faulkner, Rajendrakumar Mistry, Tom Rowbotham, Kenji Okada, Wsewolod Warzanskyj, Albert Zylbersztejn, and Yves Picault, “The Full Services Access Networks Initiative,” IEEE Communications Magazine 35, pp. 58–68, Apr. 1997. [9] Yoichi Maeda, Kenji Okada, and David Faulkner, “FSAN OAN-WG and future issues for broadband optical access networks,” IEEE Communications Magazine 39, pp. 126–132, Dec. 2001. [10] Ingrid Van de Voorde and Gert Van der Plas, “Full Service Optical Access Networks: ATM Transport on Passive Optical Networks,” IEEE Communications Magazine 35(4), pp. 70–75, 1997. [11] Hiromi Ueda, Kenji Okada, Brian Ford, Glenn Mahony, Stephen Hornung, David Faulkner, Jacques Abiven, Sophie Durel, Ralph Ballart, and John Erickson, “Deployment status and common technical specifications for a B-PON system,” IEEE Communications Magazine 39, pp. 134–141, Dec. 2001. [12], [13] “FTTH white paper on Cable solutions for operator diversity and lower CAPEX”, February 2008. [14] “Consumer study report about FTTH” RVA 2010. [15] John George“ Cost Innovations Speed Fiber Past Copper to Enable Widespread FTTH Deployment” OFS Optics.

7. Conclusion
This paper has provided overview of FTTH and its architectures based on Ethernet and PON. The comparative analysis of the features in all the architectures Table.1 shows the access based on PON will be a promising technology of the future as it also proves to be a fast growing technology from the survey results. FTTH not only eliminate the bottle neck problem at the last mile but also offers much higher bandwidth and supports applications like HDTV, VOIP, and Telecom when compared to other access technologies like DSL and cable.

Author’s Profile
P. Rajeswari received her B.E. degree in Electronics and Communication from Anna University, Chennai, India in 2009 with a rank of 41 among 15535. Presently she is doing her M.E. in Communication Systems at Ranippettai Engineering College affiliated to Anna University. N. Lavanya received her B.E. degree in Electronics and Communication from Anna University, Chennai, India in 2008. Presently she is doing her M.E. in Communication Systems at Ranippettai Engineering College affiliated to Anna University.

[1] Dawid Nowak and John Murphy, “ FTTH: The Overview of Existing Technologies”. University College Dublin, Dublin 4, Ireland. [2] Albert Domingo Vilar, “Modeling and deployment of NGAN in competitive market” 2009. [3] Ziad A.Elsahn ,“Smooth upgrade of existing FTTH access networks: SAC-OCDMA and Dense SS-WDM solutions” 2010. [4] C. Lin, “Broadband optical access networks and fiber-tothe-home: Systems technologies and deployment strategies”, John Wiley & Sons Ltd., September 2006. [5] A. Girard, “FTTx PON technology and testing”, Quebec City, Canada: Electro- Optical Engineering Inc., 2005. [6] T.Koonen, “Trends in optical access and in-building networks’ COBRA - Eindhoven the Netherlands.

Shankar Duraikannan received his B.E. degree from University of Madras and M.Tech. from Anna University in 1996 and 2000 respectively. He has a decade of teaching and research experience in the field of Optical Communication and Networks. Presently he is working as an Assistant Professor in Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering, Ranippettai Engineering College, Tamil Nadu, India.