Vodafone undertakes Europe’s first TWDM-PON trial

Created August 5, 2015
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Vodafone is conducting what is claimed to be Europe’s first field trial of a time- and wavelength-division multiplexed passive optical network (TWDM-PON) using equipment from Alcatel-Lucent.

TWDM-PON is the next-generation access scheme after 10 Gigabit GPON (XG-PON1) and 10 Gigabit EPON. The Full Service Access Network (FSAN) Group and ITU are completing the standard that supports up to eight wavelengths, each capable of 10 Gigabit symmetrical or 10/ 2.5 Gigabit asymmetrical speeds.

The combination of time and wavelength division multiplexing allows TWDM-PON to support multiple PONs, each sharing its capacity among 16, 32, 64 or even 128 end points depending on the operator’s chosen split ratio.

Operators can start with a 10 Gig PON using fixed-wavelength optics and move to TWDM-PON and tunable modules as their capacity needs grow. “You won’t have to swap out legacy XG-PON1 hardware two years from now,” said Stefaan Vanhastel, director of fixed access marketing at Alcatel-Lucent.

Alcatel-Lucent introduced last year a four-wavelength TWDM-PON based on a 4-port line-card, each port supporting a 10 Gigabit PON. The line card is used within Alcatel-Lucent’s 7360 Intelligent Services Access Manager FX platform, and supports fixed and tunable SFP optical modules.

Alcatel-Lucent has been involved in 16 customer TWDM-PON trials overall, half in Asia Pacific and the rest split between North America and EMEA.

According to market research firm Ovum, there is greater operator interest in TWDM-PON than in XG-PON1.

TWDM-PON offers ample bandwidth – 40 Gigabit symmetrical in a four-wavelength implementation – and its wavelengths can be assigned to different aggregation tasks such as backhaul, business and residential. Operators can also pay for wavelengths as needed, while TWDM-PON allows wavelengths to be shared between operators as part of wholesale agreements.

First operator TWDM-PON pilot deployments will occur in 2016, says Alcatel-Lucent.

See also:

Press release: Alcatel-Lucent and Vodafone conduct first TWDM-PON technology field trial in Europe to deliver super-fast broadband speeds to customers

White Paper: TWDM PON is on the horizon: facilitating fast FTTx network monetization

Gazettabyte: Europe gets its first TWDM-PON field trial


This article was written
by Roy Rubenstein

is the editor of gazettabyte.com and has been researching and writing about the telecom and semiconductor industries for over 20 years.