Using Both GPON and Active Ethernet: Is That Your Final Answer?
Now that we’ve outlined the clear need for Active Ethernet, in addition to GPON, let’s take a look at who will benefit.
Installing Active Ethernet on top of a GPON network is not cheap. To make it worth the investment, the path to a significant increase in revenue must be clear. The good news is that it is crystal-clear what type of customer will benefit from and appreciate Active Ethernet. In other words, if you want these categories of customers, you better have Active Ethernet available.
Here they are:
• Businesses requiring high-bandwidth services
Today, this is not a small group. Not only are the days of paper memos and diagrams sent by overnight mail gone, but the idea of a teleconference (or conference call, as I fondly remember it) is quickly becoming passé. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, any type of business can have global reach using VoIP, video conferencing or any of the other ways we have of sharing information today. In fact, technology is totally changing the way businesses operate by shifting to a paradigm of working within ‘the cloud.’ In cloud-based computing, applications no longer reside within the business or enterprise; instead, they’re accessed remotely via web services.
• Security-conscious enterprises
Despite the sophisticated security measures put in place by the GPON standard and implemented by GPON vendors, some organizations are uncomfortable using shared media and would rather have access to their own optical fiber. As individuals, we trust so many strangers in our banks and insurance companies to hold onto our most private information, and we can only do so if we know their networks were built taking into account the necessary precautions.
• “Copper Island” subscribers
The use of Active Ethernet in a fiber-to-the-node (FTTN) application allows operators to handle a significant amount of last-mile, copper-access subscriber traffic. By the end of 2008, there were still only about three million fiber lines in service, out of about 102 million active broadband connections. You don’t have to be a math whiz to realize that there’s still a lot of copper wiring in use out there. Legacy copper wiring can be used to provide VDSL2- based broadband access, offering speeds of up to 50 Mbps within a 1 kilometer radius. For this application, a GPON uplink rate may not cut it. So with much of the world still using copper, adding Ethernet is crucial.
The bottom line is that adding Ethernet allows the network operator to offer its customers the service that is best for them and gives them the better market advantage. And that will translate into revenue.
So, now that the business case is clear, how do we make a hybrid GPON-Ethernet network happen? That’s up next …
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Head of Product Marketing