Modern Passive Optical Network (PON) Technologies

Modern Passive Optical Network (PON) Technologies

Ioannis P. Chochliouros (Hellenic Telecommunications Organization, Greece) and Anastasia S. Spiliopoulou (Hellenic Telecommunications Organization, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch429
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Abstract

Presently, not only the European Union (EU) but the global community faces a decisive priority to “redesign” its economy and society, in order to meet a variety of challenges imposed by the expansion of innovative technological features, in the scope of the new millennium. The rate of investments performed and the rapid development of electronic communications networks-infrastructures, together with all associated facilities in the scope of broadband evolution, create novel major opportunities for the related market sectors (Chochliouros, & Spiliopoulou, 2005). Modern digitalbased technologies make compulsory new requirements for next-generation components and for much wider electronics integration. This critical challenge also raises the issue for considering the “evolution” from current large legacy infrastructures towards new (more convenient) ones, by striking a “balance” between backward compatibility requirements and the need to explore disruptive architectures to appropriately build (and offer) future Internet, broadband, and related service infrastructures. More specifically, for the entire European market a number of evolutionary initiatives, as they currently have been encouraged by the latest EU strategic frameworks, relate first and foremost to the technological expansion and the exploitation of ubiquitous broadband networks, the availability/accessibility of dynamic services platforms, and the offering of “adequate” trust and security, all in the framework of converged and interoperable networked environments (European Commission, 2006). However the global information society cannot deliver its major benefits without a “suitable” and appropriately deployed infrastructure, able to fulfill all requirements for increased bandwidth. During recent years, optics and photonics have become increasingly pervasive in a broad range of applications. Therefore, photonic components and subsystems are nowadays indispensable in multiple application areas, and consequently they constitute concerns of high-strategic importance for many operators. In this critical extent, fiber is constantly becoming an essential priority for wired access, as it can provide excessive bandwidth and additional advantages, if compared to similar alternative options of underlying infrastructures (Agrawal, 2002). There are several market and investment evidences demonstrating that a significant part of next-generation access networks will be based on optical access (Chochliouros, Spiliopoulou, & Lalopoulos, 2005). This is due to the fact that we are presently witnessing an extraordinary expansion in bandwidth demand, mainly driven by the development of sophisticated services/applications, including video-on-demand (VoD), interactive high-definition digital television (HDTV), IPTV, multi-party videoconferencing, and many more. These facilities require both the existence and the use of a “fitting” underlying network infrastructure, capable of supporting high-speed data transmission rates that cannot be fulfilled by the “traditional” copper-based access networks. In fact, market actors are currently focusing on developing and deploying new network infrastructures (Leiping, 2005) that will constitute future-proof solutions in terms of the anticipated worldwide growth in bandwidth demand (reaching a rate of 50% to 100% annually), but at the same time be economically viable (Prat, Balaquer, Gene, Diaz, & Fiquerola, 2002). To this aim, fiberaccess technologies evolve quite rapidly as they can guarantee “infinite” bandwidth opportunities, for all prescribed market needs, either corporate and/or residential.
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Introduction

Presently, not only the European Union (EU) but the global community faces a decisive priority to “redesign” its economy and society, in order to meet a variety of challenges imposed by the expansion of innovative technological features, in the scope of the new millennium. The rate of investments performed and the rapid development of electronic communications networks-infrastructures, together with all associated facilities in the scope of broadband evolution, create novel major opportunities for the related market sectors (Chochliouros, & Spiliopoulou, 2005). Modern digital-based technologies make compulsory new requirements for next-generation components and for much wider electronics integration. This critical challenge also raises the issue for considering the “evolution” from current large legacy infrastructures towards new (more convenient) ones, by striking a “balance” between backward compatibility requirements and the need to explore disruptive architectures to appropriately build (and offer) future Internet, broadband, and related service infrastructures. More specifically, for the entire European market a number of evolutionary initiatives, as they currently have been encouraged by the latest EU strategic frameworks, relate first and foremost to the technological expansion and the exploitation of ubiquitous broadband networks, the availability/accessibility of dynamic services platforms, and the offering of “adequate” trust and security, all in the framework of converged and interoperable networked environments (European Commission, 2006).

However the global information society cannot deliver its major benefits without a “suitable” and appropriately deployed infrastructure, able to fulfill all requirements for increased bandwidth. During recent years, optics and photonics have become increasingly pervasive in a broad range of applications. Therefore, photonic components and subsystems are nowadays indispensable in multiple application areas, and consequently they constitute concerns of high-strategic importance for many operators. In this critical extent, fiber is constantly becoming an essential priority for wired access, as it can provide excessive bandwidth and additional advantages, if compared to similar alternative options of underlying infrastructures (Agrawal, 2002). There are several market and investment evidences demonstrating that a significant part of next-generation access networks will be based on optical access (Chochliouros, Spiliopoulou, & Lalopoulos, 2005).

This is due to the fact that we are presently witnessing an extraordinary expansion in bandwidth demand, mainly driven by the development of sophisticated services/applications, including video-on-demand (VoD), interactive high-definition digital television (HDTV), IPTV, multi-party videoconferencing, and many more. These facilities require both the existence and the use of a “fitting” underlying network infrastructure, capable of supporting high-speed data transmission rates that cannot be fulfilled by the “traditional” copper-based access networks. In fact, market actors are currently focusing on developing and deploying new network infrastructures (Leiping, 2005) that will constitute future-proof solutions in terms of the anticipated worldwide growth in bandwidth demand (reaching a rate of 50% to 100% annually), but at the same time be economically viable (Prat, Balaquer, Gene, Diaz, & Fiquerola, 2002). To this aim, fiber-access technologies evolve quite rapidly as they can guarantee “infinite” bandwidth opportunities, for all prescribed market needs, either corporate and/or residential.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Point-to-Multipoint (P2MP, PTMP, or PMP) Communication: Refers to communication that is accomplished via a specific and distinct type of multipoint connection, providing multiple paths from a single location to multiple locations.

Ethernet: A large, diverse family of frame-based computer networking technologies that operates at many speeds (typically at 10, 100, or 1000 Mb/s) for local area networks (LANs). The name comes from the physical concept of the ether. It defines a number of wiring and signaling standards for the physical layers, through means of network access at the media access control (MAC)/data link layer, and a common addressing format. (Ethernet has been standardized as IEEE802.3.)

SONET (Synchronous Optical NETwork): A protocol for backbone networks capable of transmitting at extremely high speeds and accommodating gigabit-level bandwidth. It has been standardized by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Ethernet Passive Optical Network (EPON): A type of PON technology that runs on the Ethernet protocol. EPON is applicable for data-centric networks, as well as full-service voice, data, and video networks.

Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL): Transmission technology that consists of modems attached to twisted-pair copper wiring that transmit from 1.5 Mb/s to 8 Mb/s downstream (to the subscriber) and up to 1.5 Mb/s upstream, depending on line distance.

Triple-Play Services: The ability of a telecommunications operator to supply voice, data, and video applications all at once. A typical example of a triple-play proposal would include one or multiple phone lines, a high-speed Internet connection, and television/video services (such as HDTV), all offered by the same provider. Also known as bundled services.

Optical Line Termination (OLT): The service provider endpoint of a passive optical network; placed at the central office or head end of a fiber-based system. Also called optical line terminal.

FTTH (Fiber to the Home): A form of fiber optic communication delivery in which the optical signal reaches the end user’s living or office space.

Passive Optical Network (PON): Network in which fiber optic cabling (instead of copper) brings signals all or most of the way to the end user. It is described as passive because no active equipment (electrically powered) is required between the central office (or hub) and the customer premises. Depending on where the PON terminates, the system can be described as an FTTx network, which typically allows a point-to-point or point-to-multipoint connection from the central office to the subscriber’s premises; in a point-to-multipoint architecture, a number of subscribers (for example, up to 32) can be connected to just one of the various feeder fibers located in a fiber distribution hub, dramatically reducing network installation, management, and maintenance costs.

Broadband PON: A term used to refer to the entire system described by the G.983.x family of ITU-T Recommendations. This includes a wide range of broadband services and goes beyond ATM access.

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