February 11, 2003--Gigabit passive-optical-networking (GPON) vendor FlexLight Networks announced general availability today of its Optimate product suite -the first GPON product that is fully compliant with the ITU's standards for GPON, which were announced by the ITU on January 31, 2003.
Optimate is shipping today and is currently involved in major trials with customers in Europe and Asia.
The two new GPON standards are known as ITU-T Recommendations G.984.1 and G.984.2. G.984.1 is the standard for the general characteristics of GPON systems, such as architecture, bit rates, reach and security. G.984.2 specifies speeds of up to 2.5 Gbits/sec -- at least twice the speed of previous standards.
"Next generation PON is critical for hitting the new price points and functionality required by service providers," says Daniel Briere, chief executive officer of TeleChoice. "As approved, the GPON technology will enable carriers to provide a range of high bandwidth applications, such as video services, high-speed Internet
access, and multimedia applications."
"FlexLight's Optimate is unique in its ability to deliver unprecedented capacity on a PON network for both legacy TDM-based services and emerging Gigabit Ethernet services simultaneously," says Oren Marmur, chief technology officer for FlexLight. "Its compliance with the ITU's new GPON standards is a direct result of the planning we have been engaged in for the past four years. The market has validated our vision."
Optimate addresses service providers' needs for economical and reliable voice and data access over a single fiber access facility. It offers the benefits of high-speed data over PON as well as offering the DS-1 quality-of-service voice customers expect from TDM services and private line tariffs.
Optimate accepts and carries Fast Ethernet (10/100 Mbits/sec) and T1/E1 circuits from each customer location over the PON access network in their native format, without the additional overhead and complexity associated with other access technologies. It also supports VLAN switching and other emerging Ethernet services critical to new data revenue streams of the carriers.
The GPON product provisions T1/E1 and Fast Ethernet services to each tenant in a building, and grooms these services back to the central office for hand-off on an OC-3/STM-1 or Gigabit Ethernet facility to the metro equipment. Protocol conversions or replacement of installed equipment are completely avoided.
The GPON solution serves a large-scale area, through the use of enhanced optics and passive optical components. This allows maximum network cost savings, which is achieved without requiring dedicated fibers to be laid for each customer premise.
Optimate also supports full redundancy on the PON network, allowing the broadband access network to immediately recover from fiber cuts or other outages in the fiber plant. This SONET-like recovery feature is crucial to today's service providers, and is another unique advantage of FlexLight's solution.
"The company has taken the best of the Ethernet access world, a deep understanding of SONET-based traffic and networks, and the economics provided by a PON infrastructure to produce a unique solution," says Gary Lee, chief executive officer of Flexlight Networks. "The successful results we have seen from the initial lab tests in service provider trials, combined with the ongoing trials in new accounts, clearly shows that GPON is technically and economically viable today."
Founded in September 2000, FlexLight Networks is backed by investment from Coral Ventures, a private venture capital firm that manages more than $300 million of capital in five funds, and from Israel's Concord Venture Capital Fund. The company is headquartered in Atlanta, GA, and has its research and development center in Kfar Saba, Israel.