Throughout the pandemic, I have had four active Internet users at home during daytime hours. For example, my two kids consume lots of broadband bandwidth on their online video classes (as well as video games). The classes demonstrate the current need for bi-directional traffic: The teacher and classmates’ videos are transferred in downstream to my kids’ terminals, while my kids’ videos are transferred upstream to everyone else. In fact, after enough complaints from my kids, I had no choice but to upgrade my broadband service to my Internet provider’s Gigabit option.
Many families are experiencing a similar situation. Per data from Plume, the amount of people active online at home during the workday in fourteen Metro areas has increased 71% to 38.9 million from 1/29 to 9/25/2020. RVA LLC’s data shows that use of two-directional applications has exploded this year, with family use of video conferencing taking up to 46% of entire samples.
The Limits of GPON
This huge increase of Internet home users certainly creates bandwidth demand pressure for Internet service providers, who would not have designed their fiber delivery networks to support these patterns. Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) is widely deployed to provide home broadband services. However, GPON’s ability to support today’s broadband demand is limited in two significant ways: its effective bandwidth and its asymmetrical operation.
GPON offers 2.5 Gbps downstream speed. With standard 1:64 split ratio, the theoretical effective downstream bandwidth is only 39 Mbps to each subscriber, which is very low. Even worse for today’s essential usage patterns is that GPON’s upstream speed is only 1.25 Gbps. Given the same standard split, the theorical upstream bandwidth per each subscriber is only 19.5 Mbps! This upstream bandwidth limitation would greatly impact the growing use of bi-directional video applications.
Migrating Beyond GPON
So, how can you accommodate both rapidly growing bandwidth demand and the proportional increase of bi-directional video applications? The simple answer is XGS-PON.
XGS-PON is a next-generation PON technology than provides symmetrical 10 Gbps (both downstream and upstream), which is ideal for resolving the challenge created by today’s broadband networking demand. With the same 1:64 split ratio above, the theoretical bandwidth per subscriber quadruples, up to 156 Mbps. Furthermore, by using a 1:8 split ratio, service providers and operators can use XGS-PON technology to offer true 1 Gbps services to their subscribers. This 1 Gbps service can be very beneficial for business subscribers in particular. Thus, offering true 1 Gbps service may help SPs or operators gain a competitive edge.
Another XGS-PON advantage is that, with the help of a passive coexistence device, it can be deployed over the same passive fiber infrastructure of GPON. This is because XGS-PON and GPON use different wavelengths. XGS PON uses 1577nm/1270nm to transmit and receive, while GPON standards call for 1490nm/1310nm. Therefore, these standards have paved a nice migration path from GPON to XGS-PON with investment preserved.
If you’re experiencing these challenges on your FTTx network, contact Champion ONE or visit here to learn more about our innovative and cost-effective XGS-PON solution.