Verizon Touts Progress on Next-Gen FTTP

Completes ‘breakthrough’ interop trial for emerging NG-PON2 technology
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Verizon said it has reached a technical milestone for NG-PON2, a next-gen fiber-to-the-premises platform capable of supporting up to 40 Gbps of capacity, after wrapping up an interoperability lab trial.

Verizon, which announced the lab trial initiative last year and tests of NG-PON2 that started in 2015, said Adtran, Broadcom, Cortina Access and Ericsson (in partnership with Calix) participated in the interop trial, which is aligned with the telco’s Open OMCI (ONT Management and Control Interface) specs, which define the OLT-to-ONT interface. Verizon said it will share the results in the next few months.

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Verizon called the interop a “breakthrough” because it represents a significant step in creating a platform that will enabling the mixing and matching of vendors for various components for NG-PON2, an emerging standard  (the ITU-T approved the NG-PON2 specs in 2015)  that enables up to 40 Gbps of capacity and symmetrical speeds of up 10 Gbps per customer.

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Verizon said interoperability will give it the opportunity to broaden its equipment selection, allow it to deploy new features more rapidly, and to ensure that the platform complies with standards and specifications that govern NG-PON2.

If something happens to an existing supplier, for example, interoperability ensures that Verizon will have a “seamless path” to another vendor, Dr. Denis Khotimsky, distinguished member of the technical staff at Verizon, explained.

NG-PON2 is poised to be “the first [PON] technology we’ll deploy that is interoperable from day one,” he said, noting that Verizon is in the RFP (request for proposal) stage for products that support the new platform.

Verizon’s current FTTP networks for Fios use both the BPON and GPON flavors of PON, but the technologies used for them are not interoperable, so those systems are partitioned geographically while also requiring Verizon to use the same vendor for each end-point of those systems.

Khotimsky said it’s too early to speculate on when NG-PON2 will be ready for commercial deployments.

“We’ll proceed with deployment once we see the technology to be mature, cost efficient and when we see the customer demand for the services it provides,” he said.

While vendor interoperability is a key goal of NG-PON2, it’s been common for cable’s DOCSIS platform since the get-go, led by certification and qualification testing done at CableLabs.  

NG-PON2 is also emerging amid continued competition with new DOCSIS technologies. The latest, Full Duplex  DOCSIS, is an extension of the DOCSIS 3.1 specs that are shooting for symmetrical speeds of up to 10 Gbps.

RELATED: ‘Full Duplex’ DOCSIS Speeds Ahead