Service providers are making strides in early NG-PON2 tests, a technology communication service provider executives agree is vital to their organizations' ability to deliver the gigabit speeds forthcoming use cases like virtual reality, 4K television and 5G will demand.
During the June 11 NG-PON2 Forum workshop at
Fiber Connect 2017 in Orlando, a panel of telecom executives shared their NG-PON2 journeys at the end of a day filled with technical updates, ecosystem insights and pointed audience questions about cost, timeframes and return on investment.
A panel of CSP experts shared their NG-PON2 experiences and wishes during the NG-PON2 Council Forum at Fiber Connect 2017. From left to right: Vincent Hsu of Chunghwa Telecom Broadband Networks Laboratory; Hirotaka Nakamura of NTT Access Network Service Systems Laboratories; Choong Bok Lee of SK Telecom, and Vincent O'Byrne, Verizon.
Panelists included Vincent O'Byrne, director of technology at Verizon
; Choong Bok Lee, distinguished member of Technical Staff at SK Telecom
; Hirotaka Nakamura, senior research engineer at NTT
Access Network Service Systems Laboratories and Vincent Hsu, associate researcher at Chunghwa Telecom Broadband Networks
Laboratory. Despite their differing geographies, all agreed on many similar drivers behind their individual decision to explore NG-PON2.
"We're still trying to optimize what we have … rather than increase the [fiber] count," said Verizon's O'Byrne. "We needed something to be able to offer increased bandwidth quicker and more cost-effectively."
Verizon wants to support business and residential OLTs (optical line terminals) on fiber PON to drive down costs -- without risking service level agreements or customer service, he said. Redundant systems are, obviously, expensive and add more maintenance, so NG-PON2's ability to seamlessly switch between fibers is one of several benefits the technology offers.
SK Telecom is in the midst of its first NG-PON2 field trial, looking to leverage its broadband and mobile offerings, IPTV and WiFi services, said Lee. But the impending arrival of 360-degree virtual reality and its demand for six times the bandwidth of current video is the biggest spur behind the CSP's NG-PON2 activity, he said.
Like Verizon, SK Telecom seeks simplicity: "We want a single OLT platform to accommodate XGS-PON channel card and NG-PON2 card," said Lee.
Japan, which will host the 2020 Olympic Games, wants to wow the world with a 5G wonderland, said Nakamura. FTTH is widely deployed in the nation, he said, and the CSP will leverage this for its NG-PON2 use. For example, PON technology is "a promising candidate to accommodate a large number of small cells that require a lot of optical fibers," said Nakamura.
Finally, Chunghwa Telecom wants to tap into the Taiwanese government's pledge to propel 1 Gbit/s to 90% of coverage by 2020, said Hsu. By 2025, the goal is to reach 2 Gbit/s, he said. In the second half of this year, the CSP is planning a field trial; it's already formulating a request for proposal, said Hsu.
The main drivers: Competition from cable operators' investments in DOCSIS 3.1, new applications such as VR, gaming and cloud and government investment. In addition, because of explosive mobile growth, Chunghwa is considering deploying NG-PON2 for its mobile network, Hsu added.
— Alison Diana, Editor, UBB2020. Follow us on Twitter @UBB2020 or @alisoncdiana.