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IEEE Plots Course for Next-Gen EPON

May 29, 2015 By Finley Engineering in

Stakeholders are targeting data rates above 10 Gbps for the next generation of Ethernet passive optical networking (EPON), according to a new report from the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). The report, titled “IEEE 802.3™ Industry Connections Feasibility Assessment for the Next Generation of EPON,” synthesizes input from a range of global industry players involved in the EPON value chain about what they would like to see in next-generation EPON, including minimizing footprint and power consumption, as well as higher data rates.

Used to provide residential and business subscriber access to voice, video and data services as well as mobile backhaul, 1 Gbps EPON is gaining interest with network operators. Those who have already deployed are now considering upgrades to 10G-EPON, IEEE notes.

“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, in a press release about the IEEE report.

“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.”

The IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Working Group notes that while virtually all stakeholders are looking to support more subscribers at faster data rates, there are different bandwidth and technical performance targets for residential, business and mobile backhaul markets. Additionally, the cost-to-performance objectives are different, the working group notes.

In order to meet these diverse requirements IEEE may consider multiple NG-EPON solutions, including a multi-wavelength 40G solution with an evolutionary path to 100G and single-wavelength solutions supporting 25 Gbps symmetrical data rates or data rates of 25Gbps downstream and 10Gbps upstream.

The IEEE also noted that developers should look closely at how next-generation EPON would coexist with deployed EPON technologies and reuse functions and components of 10G-EPON as much as possible.