Seven firms from the optical space have formed a trade association to accelerate the adoption of passive optical network (PON) technology in local area networks (LANs).
The founder members of the Association for Passive Optical LAN (APOLAN) are Corning, IBM, SAIC, TE Connectivity, Tellabs, Zhone and 3M. These companies have an involvement with enterprise cabling or with PON technology in the access network, on which passive optical LAN platforms are based.
Passive optical LANs take advantage of the product development and deployment experience of PON equipment in the fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) market, but add some enterprise-friendly tweaks to the systems and software. Although a relatively recent development, the technology is rapidly gaining traction in the market.
A network based on singlemode optical fibre to every desk provides a future-proof architecture, the association claims. The system provides the bandwidth to address current and future demand, while minimizing costly and disruptive cabling and equipment upgrades. Power consumption and cooling requirements are reduced, while the cabling and equipment takes up less floor space.
“With data and video consumption forecast to grow between 7-10X in the next few years, the demand for highly cost-effective and high-quality voice, video, and data continues to grow in the enterprise LAN market space, making passive optical LAN an appealing solution to address current and future bandwidth demands,” said Nav Chander, research manager, enterprise telecom at IDC. “The APOLAN will provide valuable education and guidance to those considering this type of networking solution, and I expect they will serve as strong advocates for its global adoption.”
By Pauline Rigby