ZTE PON-based FTTM Solution enables quick and cost-effective 4G/5G deployment

Created September 15, 2023
Product Focus

With the advancement of “shifting from copper networks to fiber networks” and bandwidth acceleration in the past decade, the process of fiberization has accelerated, and operators have built a large number of FTTH infrastructures for high-bandwidth service access, including OLT equipment room facilities, pipelines, fiber resources, street cabinets, etc. How to fully utilize FTTH resources in the new era is a topic of concern for operators.

Meanwhile, the accelerated 5G network construction requires the massive deployment of optical network resources. However, the 5G network construction faces big financial pressures brought by the increasing number of mobile base stations, high costs, long construction period, and right-of-way restrictions. In particular, it is very difficult to deploy new optical fibers and service development is often restricted in urban areas.

FTTx accounts for over 65% of global FBB users by the end of 2022, and is estimated to be over 80% in 2027. Therefore, sharing the existing FTTH resources with mobile stations and increasing the utilization efficiency of the existing FTTH networks is a good idea to ease the pressure of mobile network construction, and reduce costs and TTM (Time to Market).

ZTE launched the 4G/5G Backhaul solution based on the PON technologies, including XGS-PON and 50G PON to implement shared resources of FTTH and 4G/5G, and shorten the time and costs of 4G/5G network deployment, thus enable one fiber for all access, one network for all scenarios coverage.

ZTE TITAN OLT platform supports flexible insertion and coexistence of 50G PON, XGS-PON, Combo PON, Any-PON, GPON and PtP line cards in the same chassis. It also supports the coexistence of three generations of PON technologies (GPON, XG(S)-PON, and 50G PON) in the same ODN over the same 50G PON Combo line card. ZTE is the industry’s first to released precise 50G PON, 50G PON + Wi-Fi 7 ONU, 50G PON&10G GPON Combo and 50G PON&10G GPON&GPON Combo solutions. ZTE precise 50G PON provides 2M-50Gps tunable bandwidth, 200µs @10km latency and ns level jitter, and uses dedicated activate wavelength, single frame multiple burst, and hardware slicing technologies to assure the bandwidth and latency, helps build deterministic networks.

  1. 50G PON for 5G backhaul to provide ultra-high bandwidth, reduce 5G construction time and cost

The following figure shows the FTTM network architecture that uses 50G PON for 5G backhaul.

The 50G PON/50G PON Combo line card is inserted into the TITAN platform at the OLT side, and the 50G PON ONUs are used to access base stations at the ONU side. The 50G PON network provides signal transmission channels to 5G base stations, and shares FTTx network resources with 5G base stations, thus reducing feeder fiber by 80%, branch fiber by 50%, single site equipment cost by 70% and construction time by 60%.

China Mobile successfully completed the 50G PON backhaul field trial with integrated 5G small cells in its existing network. Results showed that 50G PON can provide a downstream rate of 43.5 Gbps and an upstream rate of 20.25 Gbps. At the 5G CPE side, it achieved a downstream rate of 800 Mbps and an upstream rate of 50 Mbps (GE port). It also reached an uplink latency of 70 μs at a large throughput. The test also verified that 5G services are guaranteed preferentially when the FTTH and 5G services share the same PON port.


  1. XGS-PON for 4G/5G backhaul to save feeder fiber resources and costs

The following figure shows the network architecture that uses XGS-PON for 4G/5G backhaul.

XGS-PON has the symmetrical bandwidth of 10Gbps for 4G/5G backhaul. ZTE PON OLT TITAN platform supports IEEE 1588V2, 1PPS+ToD and Sync E to ensure reliable forwarding of mobile services, The EMS platform manages and maintains the FTTM networks in a unified manner to reduce O&M complexity and labor cost. Hence improving utilization efficiency of existing FTTH network resources. Compared with the traditional MPLS-based backhaul solution, reducing feeder fibres by 80%, branch fibres by 50%, single site equipment cost by 70%, and construction time by 60%.

ZTE’s customized pizza-box CBU with industrial-grade hardware design provides 10GE interfaces to connect with mobile stations. Field test result from shows that over 8.5 Gbps upstream/downstream bandwidth is provided by using XGS-PON for backhaul.

Telkom Indonesia cooperates with ZTE to enable mobile stations to share the existing FTTH equipment resources and infrastructures, and improve the utilization efficiency of existing FTTH network resources by using ZTE FTTM solution, and has built the world’s largest FTTM networks.

The practical results show that the powerful integrated access capability and full-optical and full-scenario coverage based on the TITAN platform fully meet the backhaul construction requirements in the 5G era. In addition, by reusing the optical fibers, pipes, equipment rooms, shelves, street cabinets, and other resources of the deployed FTTH networks, operators can greatly reduce the time and costs of 5G network construction costs so as to gain a competitive edge in the 5G era.