EPON, GPON Technology Continues Expansion

Feature Story

EPON, GPON Technology Continues Expansion

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, IP Communications Magazines  |  August 17, 2010

Worldwide passive optical network equipment revenue jumped 26 percent sequentially in the fourth quarter of 2009, driven by increased spending on such equipment in China, according to Infonetics (News - Alert) Research. Meanwhile, some who have received broadband stimulus awards plan to use PON. And companies like Hitachi are pushing EPON solutions to the U.S. cablecos.

Worldwide revenue for the PON product category last year reached $2.18 billion, which was up 35 percent from the previous year, according to Infonetics Research (News - Alert). The firm expects PON equipment revenue to more than double by 2014.

"Another spike in the Chinese FTTB market continued to drive growth in both EPON and MSAP revenue, as the major Chinese operators look to pass nearly 25 million homes this year with a combination of ADSL and Fast Ethernet connections via MSAPs, which are being fed by EPON links for network-side access,” says Jeff Heynen, directing analyst for broadband and video at Infonetics Research.

“Every region saw an incremental increase in DSL port shipments and revenue this quarter, though Asia Pacific was by far the biggest beneficiary, seeing a $100 million sequential revenue jump,” he adds. “Meanwhile, GPON deployments also shot up this quarter, thanks to a major increase in GPON shipments to China Mobile (News - Alert) and China Telecom, as well as continued bulk OLT and ONT shipments to BSNL as part of their 700,000-line GPON build out."

At the same time, PON is one of the technologies being employed by small service providers and other entities that will use broadband stimulus funds to build new broadband networks to users in various parts of the U.S.

PON is also a technology being considered by U.S. cable TV companies.

Jeff Stribling, vice president of marketing and customer support at Hitachi (News - Alert), says that his company has been pushing EPON, which he describes as a well-established technology, to the MSOs. These cable companies, he says, have a lot of CMTS gear and cable modems, and they’re managing it with DOCSIS. The MSOs didn’t want to have to bring in and manage a new technology, he adds, so Hitachi is offering them a 10gbps EPON solution that looks like DOCSIS.

Hitachi has done trials of this technology with some MSOs and it expects to have the first commercial MSO deployment of it this year, he adds.

In May, Hitachi announced the availability of 10G EPON and 10G DePON optical network units and line cards for the Salira product line. 

“We believe that Hitachi’s 10G-DePON will become the primary technology for cable operators building new high-bandwidth access networks.” says Takashi Mori, president of the Salira Division of HCTA. “It has the bandwidth and features our customers need to create services today and in the future.”

Edited by Stefania Viscusi


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