As ultrafast fibre optic connectivity, fibre to the home, rolls out faster than ever, gigabit passive optical networks look set to be the technology of choice. UK-based analyst business, Informa, forecasts GPON will account for three out of five subscriptions, worldwide, by end-2018, helped by China-based operators shifting investment from ethernet passive optical networks to this flavour of PON. So what’s the attraction?
Fibre Systems Winter 2014
Silicon photonics-based products are coming to market after more than a decade of development work. But the optical component industry continues to debate the significance of the technology.
‘Data, data and more data’ has been the demand of mobile-phone users for many years, whether they articulated it or not. This, along with a demand for high quality of service, has prompted considerable innovation in radio technology – GPRS, EDGE, UMTS, WiMAX and many more – with much of the latest effort going into deployment of LTE (long term evolution) systems.
In December, as reported in Fibre Systems, a study predicted that there will be a 560 per cent increase in data traffic on metro cable networks, driven by an increased demand for video and the continued proliferation of data centres.
The Bell Labs study for Alcatel-Lucent showed that, by 2017, more than 75 per cent of that traffic will stay in metro networks – compared to 57 per cent today. It also indicated that traffic from video services will increase by as much as 720 per cent and data centre traffic will increase more than 440 per cent during the same time period.
Though Coriant officially came into being just a year ago, after its spin-out from Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN), plans were already in place to separate the optical network business several years back.
Chief technical officer Uwe Fischer tells Fibre Systems: ‘About two years back NSN decided to focus on mobile and mobile broadband – and, despite the fact that we saw a tremendously good and positive business opportunity around the optical business, the company was not willing to make the necessary investments to really develop this field.
As data demand ramps ever higher, researchers are looking to innovative amplifier designs to help transport a broader light spectrum through optical fibres, finds Andy Extance
Duncan Ellis shares his views about the increased focus on automation from network operators, and how the physical layer has so far stubbornly resisted the move
Switching off copper networks where fibre has been deployed is the end game, so why are so few operators doing it, wonders Pauline Rigby
With demand for fibre to the premises increasing, Keely Portway looks at the role training plays in ensuring installation skills remain available to meet this growing demand