Ovum learned from meetings during Calix ConneXions, Broadband World Forum Europe, and two Broadband Forum Access Summits (Berlin and Las Vegas in October) that NG-PON2 optics are available and one commercial deployment is underway. NG-PON2 is gaining momentum because CSPs (communications service providers), including Verizon, Vodafone, Portugal Telecom, CenturyLink, Pilot, and Lumos, view this solution as a means to supporting different types of access customers and traffic.
NG-PON2 will ramp faster than expected and will play a strategic role
The key barrier to NG-PON2 has been the availability and cost of tunable optics, particularly for the highly cost-sensitive ONU. An amendment to the NG-PON2 standard, known as Amendment 2, has enabled the use of lower-cost DMLs (directly modulated lasers). One optics vendor is compliant – PICadvanced – and several well-established Chinese PON optics vendors are now considering internal development or supporting PIC with manufacturing.
In addition to optics, PMD (physical media dependent)-layer compliance was achieved in September. Several NG-PON2 equipment vendors are supporting lab trials by multiple operators and Ovum believes that Portugal Telecom is already using NG-PON2 for commercial traffic.
Numerous CSPs are evaluating the pros and cons of XGS-PON versus NG-PON2 and many will choose the lower-cost XGS-PON equipment for bandwidth upgrades. However, several other CSPs view NG-PON2 as a strategy for bringing together different types of customers and thereby traffic onto the same ODN (optical distribution network).
While not all of the mentioned CSPs will choose an NG-PON2–only strategy, those who have chosen this strategy use different words when discussing the "whys" of NG-PON2. These operators see NG-PON2 as a flexible access solution that enables the support of both residential and business traffic on the same network, saving capex and opex, while providing a growth path up to 80G. NG-PON2 enables them to move customers seamlessly onto different wavelengths for traffic load balancing, thereby adhering to SLAs (service-level agreements). Their NG-PON2 adoption plans include wavelength bonding to meet the bandwidth demands of transport traffic.
More importantly, these CSPs have begun to prepare their networks for NG-PON2 adoption; they have moved from the "why" to the operational-side "how."
"Optical component FTTx PON market forecast to reach new heights," TE0017-000101 (August 2017)
"Verizon's open network approach will accelerate NG-PON2 deployments," TE0006-001335 (January 2017)
Julie Kunstler, Principal Analyst, Service Provider Technology