GPON in Telecommunication Networks

Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) is a point to a multi-point system and transmits through Ethernet connections. It consists of two active transmission equipment, the Optical Network Unit (ONU) or Optical Network Terminal (ONT), and the Optical Line Termination (OLT).

Thinking about deploying GPON? Watch our webinar “Multi-Vendor GPON Activation in Action” on-demand.

Telecommunication networks are growing to meet the rising demand of the customers. Nearly all the transmission from the providers to the customers is by the use of optical fibers. GPON can support several spectra services like ATM, Time Division Multiplex (TDM), shared line, wireless extension, voice, among others. FTTH (Fiber to The Home) network is the popular GPON network architectures, which are ideal for a telecommunications network. Unlike in other current broadband technologies, these networks exploit the low bandwidth of single-mode fiber and attenuation to provide higher bandwidth.

GPON in Telecommunications

The GPON architecture has asymmetric and symmetric broadband services, Integrated Service Digital Network (ISDN), POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service), and the narrowband service for use in telephone lines. GPON is creating new opportunities for telecommunication operators and also improving the existing phone services. GPON consists of several components that reduce the amount of fiber, equipment, and general costs as compared to the point to point architectures.

Components of GPON Networks

Optical Line Terminal (OLT)

These are the components found at the service provider’s premises, which integrate the L2 / L3 switches in a GPON system. Their functions are bandwidth allocation, buffer control, and traffic scheduling that drives the FTTH architecture. OLT controls the flow of information from both directions, which are the service provider’s exchange and the end-users. The transmission of data at these directions is upstream and downstream. Upstream is the receiving and sharing of different data from the users. Downstream is the receiving of voice, video, and data traffic from a long haul or metro network for distribution to the ONU equipment.

Optical Network Unit (ONU) / Optical Network Terminal (ONT) 

The functions of these systems are to translate optical signals over fiber into an electric signal before it transmits to the end user’s central Ethernet switch or other Customer Premises Equipment (CPE). The optical fiber from a termination point connects to the routers Ethernet ports, which provide the user interfaces. These interfaces are connections such as phones, computers, and access points, among others. The ONU/ONT can send, optimize, reorganize, and aggregate various forms of data from the end-user and forward it upstream to the service providers OLT equipment. During this process, the information that arrives in bursts from users is delivered smoothly in the OLT. It is through the support of high bandwidth allocation that ensures the efficient delivery of data.

Optical Distribution Network (ODN)

These are the physical devices and fiber cables, which transmit data to end-users in a telecommunications network. It is the transmission medium that connects the OLT and ONU/ONT devices. In the ODN, there are five categories; optical access point, distribution fiber, feeder fiber, drop and optical distribution point, and various components. These components integrate, and they include passive optical splitters, fiber optic connectors, and peripheral components.

Optical Splitters

They split the main light signal among several fibers in order to bring service to multiple ONU/ONT. Every fiber link entering the splitter is split further into a certain number of fibers. Each end-user shares the split fiber, where 2 or more levels of fiber correspond with two or more levels of optical splitters. The splitters have low insertion loss, highly reliable, broad wavelength range, fewer dimensions, and supports network security.

The GPON network architecture in telecommunications is scalable, secure, and reliable. Being a passive network, it has high transmission components from the exchange to the customers. These make the system cheap, in services and maintenance costs. To improve efficiency, the network offers a high bandwidth for better upstream and downstream transmission. Also, the architecture makes it easy to make enormous transmission and reception changes, additions, and moves as required by the communication providers.

Thinking about deploying GPON? Watch our webinar “Multi-Vendor GPON Activation in Action” on-demand.


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