IEEE Addresses NG-EPON Technical Feasibility and Market Drivers

  • IEEE
  • IEEE Standards Association
PISCATAWAY, NJ — IEEE, a professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for humanity, announced availability of “IEEE 802.3 Industry Connections Feasibility Assessment for the Next Generation of EPON.” The IEEE 802.3 communication synthesizes input collected in 2014 and 2015 from individuals throughout the global Ethernet Passive Optical Network (EPON) ecosystem—operators, system integrators, chip vendors, optics suppliers and others. Input was collected on the desired features and options for a next generation of EPON, operating at aggregate data rates above 10 Gbps and minimizing the footprint and power consumption in optical access networks.

EPON is widely deployed for a number of applications, including residential subscriber access (providing voice, video and data services), business subscriber access (providing primarily voice and high-grade/high-reliability data services) and mobile backhaul. Network operators globally have deployed 1G-EPON solutions in large scale; 10G-EPON deployments are intensifying, and network operators and equipment vendors alike are interested in exploring technologies for the next generation of EPON.

Varying Bandwidth Targets and Technical Performance Requirements
“While unified in the common trend to support more subscribers with higher data rates, the residential access, business access, and mobile backhaul markets have different bandwidth targets and technical performance requirements,” the published communication from the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Working Group states. “Not only are the technical requirements different in all these markets, but also the cost-to-performance objectives are different.”

To address the diversity of market requirements, the referenced communication suggests consideration of multiple NG-EPON solutions, including a multi-wavelength 40G solution with an evolutionary path to 100G and single-wavelength solutions supporting the data rates of 25G symmetric or 25G downstream/10G upstream. “The new PHYs need to consider the coexistence with the deployed EPON technologies and reuse functions and components of 10G-EPON to the extent possible,” adds the IEEE 802.3 communication.

Working Toward a New NG-EPON Standard
“The IEEE 802.3 Industry Connections NG-EPON Ad Hoc was launched to explore the market potential and technology options for an NG-EPON operating at data rates beyond 10G," said Marek Hajduczenia, chair of the IEEE 802.3 Industry Connections NG-EPON Ad Hoc and network architect with Bright House Networks. "The expectation is that information contained within the published communication will help with development of a future Call for Interest for NG-EPON and, afterwards, a new standard within the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Working Group.”


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