ETSI tests GPON "plug and play" interoperability

July 10, 2009 -- The latest European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) Plugtests testing event successfully confirmed "plug and play" interoperability among various vendors' products, ETSI asserts.

July 10, 2009 -- The latest European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI; search Lightwave for ETSI) Plugtests testing event focused on the interoperability of GPON. This, the eighth event on the topic, successfully confirmed "plug and play" interoperability among various vendors' products, ETSI asserts.

The event was organized in June by ETSI and the Full Service Access Network Group (FSAN; search Lightwave for FSAN) with support from France Telecom, Telecom Italia, and test tool vendors. The European Commission served as sponsor. Its focus was on verifying correct implementations of the ITU-T Optical Network Termination Management and Control Interface (OMCI) Implementers' Guide.

The event was hosted by ETSI at its headquarters in Sophia Antipolis, France, and brought together 14 GPON equipment and IC device vendors. Using detailed test case descriptions provided by FSAN operators, the event enabled these vendors to run numerous test cases among each other, resulting in 55 half-day test pairing sessions in a period of one week.

Beyond these pairing sessions that are regularly used at Plugtests events, a new test concept was successfully introduced for the first time. "Blindfold pairing" was employed to create a more "real world" situation for these particular products. Taking on the role of network operators, independent testing experts configured the optical network termination (ONT) themselves through the OLT using the OMCI layer without vendor intervention, as will be the case in practice, and then carried out the tests. Blindfold pairing permitted a further 60 short pairing test sessions, each lasting a maximum of half an hour. These tests also confirmed the "plug and play" capabilities of the vendors' implementations.

The participating vendors were Alcatel-Lucent, Broadcom Corp., BroadLight, Calix, Cambridge Industries, Comtrend, ECI, Ericsson, Huawei, PMC-Sierra, RAD Data Communication, Transwitch, Zhone Technologies, and ZTE.

"The Sophia-Antipolis event showed that plug and play GPON interoperability is almost fully achieved," said Regis Coat (France Telecom), chair of the FSAN Interoperability Task Group. "Thanks to the strategy FSAN operators have built in 2008, GPON vendors have now clear guidance to reach the target. We will be able to confirm the good maturity of the GPON technology again during the ninth test event which will take place in China in November 2009".

Michael Shaffer, FSAN OMCI Implementation Study Group co-ordinator, added, "This event has shown that OMCI implementations can now support a full range of Ethernet based services in a mixed vendor environment. It goes well beyond the simple Ethernet pipe interoperability that has been demonstrated using other technologies."

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