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The future of PON

Fibre is the driving force of the broadband connectivity today. It is the biggest and fastest growing fixed access technology with the largest eco-system of players that includes fixed and converged operators, governments, cities, utilities, enterprises, and infrastructure investors. Fibre broadband investment is attractive because it enables a premium customer experience, competitive advantage, the lowest operational costs (OPEX), and the lowest power consumption of any broadband technology, with the additional opportunity of service convergence (residential, enterprise and 5G transport). One of the greatest attributes of fibre is unlimited bandwidth potential. As technology evolves, the same fibre networks will be able to increase capacity using the same fiber infrastructure, without the need to make updates in the most valuable part of the network: the fibre outside plant. The increase of capacity is possible by adding new wavelengths (or colors of light), each wavelength carrying data traffic and even working on different transmission rates. New fibre technologies unlock the potential of fibre to be a single infrastructure that underpins the entire telecom eco-system and connect everything and everyone: consumers, businesses and even 5G cell sites. Today, fibre networks are based on Gigabit PON (GPON). The next step is XGS-PON which reuses the same outside fibre plant (fibre cables, splitters, and access nodes) to increase bitrates to 10Gb/s. The industry is already working on further evolutions beyond 10 Gb/s. The next generation of PON technologies are essential to meet ever-growing bandwidth demand and ensure that the fibre networks built out today can be used for decades to come. This paper examines the future PON fibre technologies beyond 10Gb/s.

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