WDM-PON field trial in Austria supports gigabit broadband

ADVA Optical Networking (FSE: ADV) says it has partnered with Energie AG Oberösterreich Data GmbH and ELCON Systemtechnik GmbH in a WDM-PON trial in Austria. The trial is designed to assess WDM-PON technology for next-generation residential broadband access by using the technology to offer uncontended gigabit connectivity to residential subscribers.

ADVA Optical Networking (FSE: ADV) says it has partnered with Energie AG Oberösterreich Data GmbH and ELCON Systemtechnik GmbH in a WDM-PON trial in Austria. The trial is designed to assess WDM-PON technology for next-generation residential broadband access by using the technology to offer uncontended gigabit connectivity to residential subscribers.

Using dedicated wavelength connections, the trial provides residents with symmetrical broadband access network speeds exceeding current commercial offerings by more than a factor of 10.

The network was deployed by Data GmbH, a subsidiary of Energie AG Oberösterreich, in the Austrian municipality of Allhaming. Allhaming was chosen for the trial because of its location in an underserved rural area with poor broadband access.

ADVA says WDM-PON technology is especially suited to such a scenario. It enables individual subscribers to be independently connected to a remote central office that can be tens of kilometers away. Optical WDM allows subscribers to share a common trunk fiber and eliminates the need for active field equipment.

“Residential WDM-PON technology is still in its infancy,” said Markus Fellhofer, head of fiber-to-the-home (FTTH), Data GmbH. “Real-life trials such as this will help it to mature and are key in developing scalable and future-proof FTTH solutions. The residents of Allhaming are direct beneficiaries of this. They are already experiencing the impact that high-speed broadband access can have on their daily lives.”

The trial forms part of the collaborative European PIANO+ projects, TUCAN and IMPACT, that are fostering the development of ultra-broadband WDM-PON networks.

The technology used in the trial was collaboratively tested by ADVA Optical Networking, ELCON Systemtechnik, and Data under actual network conditions. Data from the trial is continually being collated and analyzed and will help Data understand the full implications of a WDM-PON network, including capital and operating costs.

Lessons learned from the trial will be used to expand optical broadband delivery to a further 30 development areas in the Upper Austria region in 2014.

“This trial isn't just about technology, it's about people, it's about communities, it's about the digital society,” said Jörg-Peter Elbers, vice president, advanced technology, ADVA Optical Networking. “Working with the residents of Allhaming, you see firsthand how important dependable access to high-speed broadband is. People of this municipality are now able to video chat with distant relatives, participate in online learning, and benefit from all the other applications that depend upon broadband access.”

Elber says that in further stages of the trial, they will introduce improved technology developed with other collaboration partners, such as Oclaro, which provides the integrated tunable laser devices for the trial.

“This trial is critical for Austria, critical in helping to close the digital divide,” said Marco Dietrich, vice president, R&D, ELCON Systemtechnik. “We are intent on helping Austria's underserved and rural communities become a part of the digital age. What's important to achieving this is developing affordable networks that can both meet today's bandwidth expectations and scale for tomorrows’. This is why we are a part of this trial. We want to showcase how WDM-PON technology can be used to deliver cost-effective broadband access that meets all expectations: the service providers’, the equipment vendors’ and, most importantly, the users’. This will be an exciting project to watch.”

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