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Passive Optical Network (PON)

What is a passive optical network (PON)?

Telecommunications network providers frequently employ passive optical networks (PONs), which carry fiber optic cables and messages nearly all the way to the final customer. The system may be referred to as fiber to the curb, fiber to the building, or fiber to the house, depending on where the PON ends.

Passive Optical Network (PON)

What is the operation of a passive optical network?

An optical line terminal (OLT) in the main office of the communication firm and many optical network units (ONUs) closer to end customers make up a PON system. Usually, one OLT is capable of connecting up to 32 ONUs. The term "passive" refers to the reality that, after the signal is transferred throughout the network, optical transmission does not need any form of energy or active electrical components. In contrast, active optical networks need equipment that is powered by electricity in order to transfer frames or cells along fiber cable.

This picture illustrates the redundant manner in which OLT equipment is often arranged in the central office of the telecommunication company. After that, fiber cabling is dispersed up to 20 kilometers from the central office and divided into many ONUs by means of a passive optical splitter. The fiber link is then terminated in close proximity to the delineation point of the client. Following that, the ONU will provide a network handoff across copper or fiber Ethernet connections, facilitating clients' simple connection to their current local area networks (LANs).

Passive Optical Network (PON)

Which kinds of passive optical networks are there?

At the optical level, the potential capacity of all PON systems is about equal. The electrical overlay, a technology utilized to control the connection and allot ability, sets restrictions on downstream and upstream bandwidth. Asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) or cell switching protocols served as the foundation for the electrical layer of the first PON systems to gain widespread commercial installation. These systems were known as APON. Even though they are now referred to as broadband PON, or BPON, they continue to be in use today. 155 megabits per second or 622 megabits per second is the normal downstream capacity of APON or BPON networks, with the latter being the most popular. Cell bursts of 155 Mbps are a kind of upstream transmission.

By using optical splitters and wavelength division multiplexing methods, a PON might assign sections of this bandwidth to numerous users. A PON may also function as a network trunk uplink via coaxial cable connecting a neighborhood, building, or residential Ethernet line and a more extensive system, such as a community antenna television system.

PONs that run on Ethernet technology are the replacement for PONs that rely on ATM technology. For instance, Gigabit PON (GPON) provides a range of bandwidth possibilities, from asymmetric 1.25 Gbps transfer and 2.5 Gbps install capabilities to symmetric 622 Mbps downstream and upstream capabilities. GPON is a hybrid system that transports data over the Ethernet and voice via ATM. In networks that use fiber to the house, GPON is extensively used.

10G-PON is an improved modern Ethernet-based PON (EPON). With 2.5 Gbps upstream, this Ethernet-only technology offers 10 Gbps speeds for downloading. Future plans call for the development of other EPON technologies, such as the International Telecommunication Union-Telecommunication Standardization Sector Next-Generation PON2 standard, which is anticipated to reach speeds of up to 80 Gbps.

What are PONs' advantages and drawbacks?

PONs have the following advantages:

  • When compared to most other broadband distribution systems, they are less expensive to implement.
  • They can function without the need for electrically driven midspan devices.
  • They take advantage of the current fiber optics.
  • Their throughput rates are keeping up with competing technology, and they have many upgrade pathways.
  • They are regarded as network technology which is safe.
  • They can be moved on a central office loop over rather large distances, up to 20 kilometers.

The following are some possible disadvantages of passive optical networks:

  • They need a large-scale fiber rollout.
  • Because of the amount of management traffic overhead that must be sent from the central office to each individual client ONU, larger networks may become less effective.
  • PONs are subject to severe transportation limitations regarding distance, in contrast to active powered network systems.

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