Alcatel-Lucent lowers entry cost of TWDM-PON with Universal TWDM

Acknowledging that current TWDM-PON systems – and particularly the tunable optics they require – are too expensive for most customers, Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) has introduced a more economical WDM-PON variant. The new Universal TWDM approach replaces the comparatively expensive tunable 10-Gbps optical transceivers with fixed optical modules.

Acknowledging that current TWDM-PON systems – and particularly the tunable optics they require – are too expensive for most customers, Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) has introduced a more economical WDM-PON variant. The new Universal TWDM approach replaces the comparatively expensive tunable 10-Gbps optical transceivers with fixed optical modules.

The change in optics provides a comparable cost of entry to 10G PON systems, while maintaining the ability to increase overall per-fiber capacity to 40 Gbps. The use of standard fixed 10-Gbps transceivers enables operators to future-proof their fiber-optic networks with the need to replace network components, evaluate new technology, or reconfigure operations and business support systems (OSS/BSS), the company asserts.

"The primary obstacle for deploying new ultra-broadband infrastructure and services is the business case," explained Federico Guillén, president of Alcatel-Lucent's Fixed Access Business Line. "Universal TWDM is Alcatel-Lucent's innovative solution to this challenge. We are enabling operators to build upon their existing fiber investments while bringing down the total cost of ownership of TWDM technology. This means they can immediately address new high-revenue opportunities for gigabit services while knowing that their investment is future-proof."

"TWDM-PON is an excellent upgrade for broadband providers, supporting recent, strong demand for residential gigabit services and expanding business/enterprise services. Operators can quickly add capacity in their broadband access networks and completely bypass 10G PON. In Universal TWDM, Alcatel-Lucent has developed an ingenious solution to help operators shrewdly manage their network investments and move directly to TWDM," commented Julie Kunstler, principal analyst, intelligent networks, with market research firm Ovum.

WDM-PON and 10G PON are the two primary options for "what comes next" after current GPON and EPON technology. Neither technology has earned significant success among carriers so far (see "Next gen PON struggles for traction").

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