ADTRAN unveils NG-PON2 platform for 10G PON, TWDM PON

Believing that a growing number of carriers would like to combine business and residential services delivery over a single PON architecture, ADTRAN, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADTN) has announced its intention to add NG-PON2 capabilities to its flagship Total Access 5000 platform. The upcoming new features will support the time-division/wavelength-division multiplexed (TWDM) PON architecture most closely associated with the ITU/FSAN NG-PON2 specifications, as well as enable 10 Gigabit GPON, 10 Gigabit EPON, point-to-point DWDM, and GPON architectures.

Believing that a growing number of carriers would like to combine business and residential services delivery over a single PON architecture, ADTRAN, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADTN) has announced its intention to add NG-PON2 capabilities to its flagship Total Access 5000 platform. The upcoming new features will support the time-division/wavelength-division multiplexed (TWDM) PON architecture most closely associated with the ITU/FSAN NG-PON2 specifications, as well as enable 10 Gigabit GPON, 10 Gigabit EPON, point-to-point DWDM, and GPON architectures.

Kurt Raaflaub, product marketing manager at ADTRAN, says the time is finally right for next-generation PON for two reasons. First, with gigabit broadband now becoming of more interest to carriers, it now makes more sense to deliver such services as well as business services of similar data rates over the same architecture, particularly if it can support service-level agreements. Second, ADTRAN has figured out a way to provide such capabilities at price points significantly lower than its competitors. The secret behind such new NG-PON2 economics is the ability to use either ITU grid colored optics or PON optics as well as what Raaflaub cheekily described as "undisclosed cleverness."

ADTRAN's announcement comes in the wake of 10G EPON announcements from CommScope and Alcatel-Lucent aimed at the cable operator space (see "CommScope to unveil 10G EPON OLT at INTX" and "Alcatel-Lucent FX-12 addresses 10G EPON interest"). Raaflaub said that the new features likely will include DOCSIS Provisioning of EPON (DPoE) capabilities that will enable ADTRAN to participate in this market. He said it was unlikely ADTRAN would add DOCSIS Provisioning of GPON support.

Because of the way TWDM-PON is architected, NG-PON2 equipment can be deployed initially in a 10G PON configuration with room to grow. Raaflaub reports the company has seen interest from potential customers in use of the new feature set for both 10G PON and full TWDM-PON deployments. He believes that 10G PON is the tipping point for the use of PON to support a wide range of business services, particularly as it will comfortably support data rates of 1 Gbps and greater. Also, the new system will be architected to play nicely in a software-defined networking (SDN) environment, which should make it more appealing for business services as well, Raaflaub believes.

Raaflaub said that development of the new capabilities has progressed far enough that the company could support field trials. However, he declined to reveal whether any such trials have been scheduled.

At least one observer believes the announcement is significant. "ADTRAN's NG-PON2 implementation has the potential to advance the adoption of 10G FTTP for residential markets by three to five years, while its increased capacity will double the life of the network," said Jeff Heynen, research director for Broadband Access and Pay TV at Infonetics Research, now part of IHS Inc. "NG-PON2's initial rollout was thought to primarily benefit premium business and backhaul services because of its much higher cost over GPON FTTP solutions. ADTRAN will dramatically change this dynamic, delivering 10G NG-PON2 solutions at costs approaching today's volume-priced 2.5G GPON. This allows service providers to affordably scale next-gen PON deployments and provide flexibility without compromising future capabilities."

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