Webinar: Playing with PON

On Thursday, April 16, 2020, Jorge Pascal, Senior Solutions Architect, joined Alan Breznick (Cable Video Practice Leader at Heavy Reading), Jason Morris (Marketing Manager Corning Optical Communications), Stephen Colangelo (Business Development Manager at VIAVI Solutions), and Brendan Ryan (Senior Software Engineer at Intel) to discuss GPON Activation & Service Orchestration. The webinar, titled Playing with PON, focused on the vast potential of passive optical networking technology for the cable industry. In this session, they looked at what PON technology has to offer cable operators and vendors, how its potential can be tapped, and what changes it will bring to the industry. They also discussed the range of issues that PON technology raises for cable, diving into the deep challenges the industry must overcome.  

Watch the complete recording of the Playing With PON webinar here.

Passive Optical Networks Growing Swiftly

Alan Breznick began by describing the key findings of Light Reading’s survey, “Cable’s Fiber Outlook”, conducted in partnership with SCTE●ISBE. The survey looked specifically at the growth of passive optical networks. It states that by 2024, cable operators expect 30% of their customers to be connected by FTTH/FTTP lines. Another 20% percent of connections will be enabled with 10GEPON, and about 13% of links will use XGS-PON. This demonstrates that cable operators are showing a great propensity for using PON and there seems to be no slowing down on that. 

What’s Driving Migration to Next-Generation PONs

There are a couple of big factors that are driving the migration to next-generation PONs. First, there is the expansion of broadband and speeds getting faster predictably up to 1 Gig. Another factor is video streaming, which creates more pressure on bandwidth. In the third place, we have gaming, especially multiplayer gaming. And the last factor is HDTV.




Bandwidth demands will just keep growing: Internet traffic is now 75% video streaming, growing to 82% by 2022. 50% of viewers under the age of 35 are streaming TV content, and by 2021, each home will consume 400Gbs of data per month. The latest figures show that each household will have at least a dozen of connected devices.  

Meeting Higher Bandwidth Demands with GPON


Jorge Pascal took the stage to explain how bandwidth consumption and demand continue to rise, and the pressure to provide more speed and capacity intensify. Technological advancements, such as live streaming 4K TV, are prompting operators to consider GPON as the solution to satisfy increasing demands. Driven by this, the global market for GPON is projected to reach over 11 billion by 2023. Emerging markets, with some outdated infrastructure like in Latin America, are forecasted to lead the growth in the following years, with more mature markets following. The FTTH wave is here and is growing all over the world, replacing DSL and by now living side by side with Cable technologies.

But even after the fiber is adopted either in greenfields or brownfields, there are unresolved constraints that jeopardize CSPs’ ability to fully capitalize on the GPON market due to several restrictions and pain points related to the complexity of the network. 

Pain Points Affecting GPON Deployments

Pain points affecting GPON deployments have to do with:

  • Lack of a multi-vendor automated workflow with zero-touch provisioning, orchestration, and service activation negatively impacts time-to-market.  Automatic rollback and fallout management are also crucial for operators. The cost of manual labor to determine the cause of these fallouts can be expensive.
  • Lack of tools for evaluating access services and proactively identifying network problems will impact the operator’s ability to quickly respond to network issues that may affect specific customers, regions, or complete services. Interoperability issues between OLT and ONT equipment from various vendors increase operational and management complexity for service providers that need to implement specific configuration processes as required by each vendor.
  • Also, network issues like fiber cuts require the technician to manually fix them while coordinating with the NOC configuration changes to recover the service or reduce the impact.
  • First Time Right is no longer an aspiration – it is mandatory. To increase customer loyalty and decrease truck-roll costs, field technicians need fast and functional field service tools that guide them in resolving issues and certifying installations.

GPON Service Orchestration And Activation


The need to activate any service from any vendor across any FTTx network technology from a  single point is increasing. This will accelerate the time-to-revenue by enabling zero-touch provisioning, orchestration, and service activation of every network element or system from a single platform.

Being able to add new services with a framework that is natively designed to support zero-touch, self-serve, dynamic services are the pillars of any future-ready digital service offering.

Jorge then introduced Intraway’s Symphonica Platform. Symphonica offers a scalable and flexible service orchestration and activation solution, eliminating the complexity of interacting with several vendor-specific systems.

It’s a cloud-ready/cloud-native solution, with microservices-based architecture and deployed using Kubernetes to provide automated scalability. It provides a codeless automation framework with the ability to communicate with systems and devices without having to develop a single line of code or install new components. A web environment allows the handling of workflows changes and new integrations.

Pre-built and ready-to-deploy provisioning and monitoring workflows and off-the-shelf connectors simplify and accelerate implementations, time-to-market, and addition of new technologies.

The Field Service Tool smartphone application simplifies field tech installations, enabling bottom-up provisioning use cases and certifying their job.

Finally, it’s aligned with TM Forum entities and open APIs to simplify integration with external systems and is easily integrated with Assurance solutions to provide closed-loop validation on the activation process.


A Digital transformation roadmap should include a single activation process and platform, for both technologies with a consolidated view of your subscribers.

A single point of activation where your BSS is not aware of the underlying technology. From there, technology migration may happen per customer requested service plan change, or in bulk due to network upgrades, but in any case, it should be seamless. Coverage maps and inventory also will be required so OSS can activate proper resources on the network with no or minimum human intervention. 

Watch the complete recording of the Playing With PON webinar here.

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