Sunday, February 18, 2007

Siemens Announces 10 Gbps PON Breakthrough, 100km Range

Researchers from Siemens Networks demonstrated the ability to transmit data at 10 Gbps error-free over a passive optical access network -- this is four times faster than current GPON technology. The upstream capacity was rated at 2.5 Gbps and the number of subscriber lines per splitter was expanded to 512. Siemens also achieved a 100 kilometer distance between hub and subscribers -- the so-called last mile. Current PONs typically support subscribers within a 20 km radius.

The higher split factor in urban areas allows considerably more subscribers to be connected to a system. It also eliminates the need for the aggregation devices that are now commonly used to collect and distribute data traffic locally. Siemens predicts that in the future, it will be possible to connect subscribers directly to the core network.

In its research for the new PON system, Siemens implemented an optical amplifier, a so-called erbium-doped fiber amplifier (EDFA). Only through use of an EDFA can the extended reach and greater subscriber number be achieved. Optical fibers doped with the element erbium amplify the optical signal of the system and enable longer transmission ranges with higher bandwidth. This device was developed by Siemens in such a way that a purely optical bi-directional amplification is possible. The result: One single compact device can boost optical signals both from the end customer to the exchange and from the exchange to the subscriber.

"We are very confident that we can further develop systems of the next PON generation to reach final market readiness by the year 2009," said Christian Unterberger, President Fixed Networks at Siemens Networks.

In addition to Siemens, the universities of Eindhoven and Essex, the Heinrich-Hertz-Institut Berlin of the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft and leading European network carriers are participating in the Extended Reach PON Systems project.