With the recent introduction of Gigabit Passive Optical
Networks (GPON), the telecom industry is heating up fast in relation to cabling
standards for both OSP and ISP installations to embrace this exciting new
Deployment of GPON spells a massive change in how we
currently cable buildings and those who are well prepared for the change with
the appropriate knowledge and skill sets, promise to be the leaders in the new
face of telecommunications.
What is GPON?
GPON is a service delivery standard that has been refined
over the last 10 years to provide a low cost and easily scalable optical
solution to meet increasing consumer bandwidth demands. It has evolved through a series of trial and
error concepts on service delivery platforms such as APON, BPON and EPON to
emerge on top, providing a reliable deployment strategy with bandwidth front
GPON, which combines existing WDM and TDM transmission
protocols, utilizes a series of passive optical splitters to distribute a
condensed fiber signal to multiple end users or devices. Since these splitter
devices are passive, they require no power or HVAC temperature control equipment
for operation. This makes deployment of passive splitters at ISP nodes ideal as
you remove wired electrical devices from cabinets that cost a significant
amount to maintain and create an additional fail point. GPON relies on
singlemode optical cable which provides distance capabilities of up to 60
kilometers (37 miles) to easily meet standard metropolitan delivery network
||Originally developed for the OSP environment, the GPON architecture
is now rapidly extending inside commercial, industrial and multi-dwelling
residential buildings to provide incredible bandwidth performance direct to the
end user while reducing network installation costs. This new development
coincides almost simultaneously with the advent of high bandwidth Wireless
Access Point technologies. A GPON fiber entering a building actually becomes
the backbone cabling itself, where it is now possible to deliver virtually
every service imaginable on a hybrid wireless/fiber WAP network without the
need for individual low voltage Cat 5e or Cat 6 cable desktop drops.
Upon arrival of the all-encompassing signal, it meets up
with an Optical Network Terminal ONT where the passive signal is split and
distributed to internal building component, either via hard wire or on Wireless
Access Points. For the time being, some
building owners will continue to deploy hard wired technology, simply because
standards provides for such. However, those
who are in tune with the environmental aspects and future-proofing benefits of
Smart Building technologies will opt for GPON direct to wireless distributors.
Upon delivery of GPON to the end user Optical
Network Terminal(s), the signal can be passively distributed throughout even
the largest of buildings using single or dual fiber CWDM Course Wave Division
What is optical
multiplexing and how does it make this technology possible?
CWDM enables us to carry multiple wavelengths, each with its
own gigabit information channel, to any and all devices throughout a building.
This includes Smart Building circuits to control lighting, temperature, access
control, building lock-down, fire prevention, security surveillance cameras,
etc. Additionally, other CWDM
wavelengths, operating on the same fiber pair, can deliver television, computer
data services, Layer 3 IP services, cellular boost services and so on. For critical circuits that serve the security
and protection aspects of a Smart Building, they now make a type of fiber optic
cable that is impervious to the extreme temperatures and destruction
experienced during a building fire.
With CWDM deployed throughout a building, the pathway sizes
for cabling diminish significantly, resulting in improved fire proofing, less
structural weight stresses and a much cleaner installation. It removes
thousands of feet of coax and ethernet cabling clogging building wiring space
and replaces it with a single small diameter fiber cable. What used to require
full telecom closets on each floor of a building, can now be achieved with a single
passive CWDM cassette that fits in a standard lockable wall mount optical
Within the past decade, the US Government implemented a
similar concept on Navy vessels, virtually gutting all copper control and data
circuits and replacing them with fiber optic CWDM circuits. The result was astounding, with so much
weight removed that aircraft carriers literally floated with their propellers
above the water line. Until one starts
to imagine the combined weight of several copper cable bundles, It's hard to
envision the stress that we place on structures with the added weight of copper
that runs virtually everywhere within a building.
CWDM technology is a concept that has recently gained
popularity with the introduction of multiple switch SFP Small Form Pluggable
modules. SFP modules are the small
transceiver devices that plug and play into existing switch ports and in turn
interface with the switch backplane for information processing purposes. At one time, not long ago, the SFP
wavelengths only came in a few standard wavelengths that were primarily
configured to accommodate SX (short distance) or LX (long distance)
transmissions. Today however, this has
all changed with the ever-increasing demand for bandwidth at the user level.
At one time, a backbone cabled system with a 10 gigabit
capacity was considered enormous, but today with the introduction of CWDM
backbones, this size is considered quite small.
If you have any questions regarding the technology in this
article or would like to find out how to deploy a high tech GPON design in your
next project, contact FNT experts at 1-866-818-8050 for questions, design support
Next month, our FNT Direct Connect article will
take an in-depth look at smart building technology and the devices that make it
possible. We will also discuss the changing building network architecture and
how a centralized network design can increase your bandwidth while saving time
and money on your next installation.
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