OCTOBER 29, 2009 -- Hitachi Communication Technologies America Inc. (HCTA) has introduced a new line of optical network units (ONUs) for its DePON fiber access systems. The ONUs leverage the low cost and high bandwidth available with PON while software enhancements enable cable service providers to keep their existing DOCSIS provisioning and management systems, offering high-bandwidth data services along with voice and RF video and preserving investments in customer premises equipment. The products support voice, video, data, and wireless services for creation of double-, triple-, and quad-play subscriber bundles.
The company says it has put a strong focus on EPON equipment to meet various needs for mobile backhaul, business, multitenant unit, enterprise, and residential applications.
According to recent data provided to the Metro Ethernet Forum by Infonetics Research, the business case for Ethernet in mobile backhaul applications is strong. A combination of increasing bandwidth needs, strong mobile subscriber growth, cost advantages over PDH connectivity, and the availability of Ethernet interfaces on new base stations makes EPON a contender for mobile backhaul applications.
"Our experience demonstrates that using EPON for fiber access to cell towers will deliver the quality, bandwidth, and redundancy required for this rapidly growing application," says Jeffrey Stribling, vice president of PLM and customer service for HCTA.
The company's EPON equipment supports ITU-T Y.1731 service management, which focuses on end-to-end service performance. Critical features for voice traffic support provided by Y.1731 include frame delay, delay variation, and frame loss measurements as well monitoring and test capabilities for service-level agreement verification. New features in the Hitachi EPON system enable up to 40% latency reduction compared to standard EPON. This capability was developed to support voice applications. The equipment is also MEF 9 and MEF 14 certified to ensure network performance and interoperability among heterogeneous equipment.
3G and 4G mobile networks have significant buffering capabilities designed into the wireless equipment. However, 2.5G systems, by far the most numerous today, have no buffering and can tolerate approximately 8 ms of one-way delay. Of this budget approximately 0.5 ms is introduced by the EPON equipment. An additional 1.5 ms is used for TDM-to-Ethernet conversion, leaving 6 ms for the rest of the IP network. This EPON performance has proven to be just as reliable as T-1 PDH networks in transporting high quality voice traffic.
Access fiber can be a significant cost component in the acquisition of new enterprise, small- to medium-sized business (SMB), multitenant unit, mobile backhaul, and residential customers. PON technologies were developed to reduce the amount of fiber needed for access and reduce costs in this part of the network. More than 5 million SMBs and enterprises are potential PON customers, and for mobile backhaul the percentage of fiber attached cell towers will increase from 70% today to more than 89% by 2013, according to industry analysts.
The new HCTA ONUs are designed to support this growth. "We work closely with our MSO partners to define the right feature sets for these new devices," says Yanming Liu, CMO for HCTA. "Our emphasis on advanced software functions enables the delivery of voice, video, and data services for any business, residential, or backhaul application. We know from our joint development work with customers that these features create new revenue opportunities service providers can rapidly leverage," he continues.
To support a range of applications, the new ONUs comply with industry standards and certifications such as IEEE, MEF, ITU-T, and CableLabs’ PacketCable Multimedia (PCMM) specification. The ONU family includes the following products:
- HCTA C-603/C603-MW - commercial units for double-play applications, with four Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) ports for data traffic and two POTS interfaces to support advanced voice features
- HCTA C-606/C-606-MW - commercial units also for double-play applications, with eight GbE ports for data traffic and eight POTS interfaces to support advanced voice features
- HCTA C-1403/C-1403-MW - commercial models for triple-play applications, with four GbE ports for data traffic, two POTS interfaces to support advanced voice features, and one analog cable port for video transport
- HCTA C-1503/C-1503-MW - commercial models for quad-play applications, with four GbE ports for data traffic, two POTS interfaces to support advanced voice features, one analog cable port for video transport, and one IEEE.11b/g/n Wi-Fi interface
- HCTA R-1403 - a residential model of the triple-play device with a smaller form factor and plastic enclosure. The ONU has four GbE ports for data traffic and two POTS interfaces to support advanced voice features along with one analog cable port for video transport
- HCTA R-1503 - a commercial model of the quad-play device in the smaller form factor and plastic enclosure. The ONU has four GbE ports for data traffic, two POTS interfaces to support advanced voice features, one analog cable port for video transport, and one IEEE.11b/g/n Wi-Fi interface
These units support advanced gateway software and functions including NATP, DHCP server, firewall, multicast, configurable quality of service (QoS), L2/L3 VPNs, and Wi-Fi. All features can be configured using existing DOCSIS OSSI management. They also enable the creation of E-LAN, E-LINE, E-TREE, and E-VPLS services -- the foundation of most business applications.
Hitachi will be showing EPON and GPON platforms that support mobile backhaul and business services in booth #11123 at the 2009 SCTE Cable-Tec exhibition in Denver, CO, Oct. 28-30.