GPON-Based FTTx Solution

2009-12-14     Chen Zongcong

"Broadband, convergence, flatness and mobility" has become the theme of ICT development in the 21st century. Being closest to the end user, Access Network (AN) has to accommodate changes in technology, service delivery and user experience. The universal demands for current access networks are higher bandwidth, longer transmission distance, lower cost, and more environmental-friendly equipment.

AN, the cornerstone of ICT networks, has a clear path of evolution towards FTTx. Telecom operators worldwide have started large-scale FTTx deployment. Of all FTTx technologies, GPON is a key option for them due to its wide coverage, high bandwidth, and multi-service support.


High Requirements for FTTx Networks

As the development of FTTx networks is a process in which access fibers are gradually extended to end users, it is necessary to take into full consideration the evolution to FTTH and ensure the scalability of FTTx networks. In addition, hybrid networking must be adopted to satisfy customers' requirements for multiple (rather than one) FTTx application scenarios.

As traditional fixed-line and mobile operators are transforming into full-service operators, the FTTx network must support full-service operation. In addition to broadband services, it must support traditional TDM services and integrate mobile services.

With the increasing global awareness of environmental protection and energy saving, operators are seeking for a cost-effective FTTx construction mode to curb the growing energy consumption and reduce TCO. As new technologies keep emerging in the FTTx field, they hope to find an FTTx solution that can support smooth migration to new technologies while protecting their existing investment.


Future Proof GPON Solution

With the development of PON technologies and the growing demands for broadband networks, the Optical Line Terminal (OLT) equipment of high capacity and wide coverage has become a typical requirement for an FTTx network. In response to this market demand, ZTE took the lead to launch its new-generation optical access platform ZXA10 C300.


ZXA10 C300 is a large-capacity PON OLT that can provide a maximum of 128 GPON interfaces and allow the access of up to 16384 GPON Optical Network Units (ONUs). In addition to GPON, ZXA10 C300 can also support P2P, EPON, 10G EPON, and WDM PON, making it a truly unified FTTx platform. Based on the large-capacity and high-performance OLT C300, ZTE rolled out its GPON-based FTTx solution, as illustrated in Figure 1.



 Figure 1   GPON-based FTTx solution

Multiple Application Scenarios

ZTE's GPON-based FTTx solution provides a full range of ONU products that support various application scenarios.



Fiber To The Home (FTTH) is mainly designed for high-end residential users. The ONT can be placed on the desktop or mounted on the wall to save space. All kinds of home terminal devices can be connected to the ONT through a telephone line or category-5 cable to access multi-play services.



Fiber To The Building (FTTB) is the main FTTx business model that allows access to high-bandwidth services. It saves fiber resource and uplink interfaces, resulting in lower construction costs than FTTH. The ONU is usually placed inside the building and connected to end users through network cables or twisted pairs.



In the Fiber To The Curb or Cabinet (FTTC) mode, the ONU can utilize the existing twisted pairs to access end users and achieve centralized coverage of a quite number of users at low CAPEX. The ONU can be placed in the outdoor cabinet or mounted on the pole. In order to cut wiring costs, the cabinet or splitter is usually placed in the center of multiple residential communities.

Full-Service Support

With non-blocking switching capability and perfect QoS, multicast and VLAN mechanisms, ZTE's GPON-based FTTx solution can support a range of broadband services including voice, data and video. Additionally, through transparent transmission of E1 services and transfer of service clocks, the solution enables mobile 2G/3G backhaul over GPON, satisfying the operators' needs for transformation into full-service operation.  

Green GPON

With innovative ASI and PCB components, highly-integrated boards, and speed adjustable fans, ZTE's GPON-based FTTx equipment provides low power consumption, helping operators considerably reduce their OPEX. The power consumption of each GPON port of ZXA10 C300 is 40% lower than the average level of the industry. ZTE has been committed to putting its green concept of low power consumption, space and labour saving, and lead-free nature into the equipment design and manufacturing practice. 


Smooth Migration

As a unified FTTx platform, ZXA10 C300 supports not only GPON but also a number of other technologies including EPON and P2P. More importantly, it offers smooth support for Next-Generation PON (NG-PON) technologies such as 10G-EPON, NG- PON1, and NG-PON2 only by adding one new module, as shown in Figure 2. 



 Figure 2   Smooth upgrade to NG-PON/10G-EPON

While meeting operators' current needs, ZTE's GPON-based FTTx solution supports smooth migration to NG-PON technologies in the future, which can protect operators' existing investment and save the time for network reconstruction.

Widespread Applications

ZTE's GPON-based FTTx solution leads the global market in features and functionalities. By September 2009, ZTE has widely deployed 26 million lines of its xPON products for commercial use in numerous countries and regions around the world including Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia. Its ZXA10 xPON optical access products have registered 278 Chinese patents and 38 international patents. 

According to the latest IDATE report "World FTTx Market", ZTE ranks No. 1 in global FTTx equipment market with 19% accumulated global shipments in the first half of 2009.

In 2006, Telecom Italia (TI) initiated its GPON project. After multiple rounds of stringent tests, ZTE's FTTx solution was chosen by TI for building a GPON+VDSL2 network (see Figure 3) in the Rome area due to its low power consumption and high reliability.

  Figure 3   GPON+VDSL2 solution used for TI

The cooperation between TI and ZTE in FTTx has also been highly recognized in the industry. The GPON+VDSL2 solution won the prestigious "InfoVision" award at Broadband World Forum Europe 2007 sponsored by the IEC. Following this success, TI and ZTE agreed to further their cooperation in the FTTx area.


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