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FSAN evaluates options for next-generation PON

1 May 2012
The Full Service Access Network (FSAN) industry group is close to finalising the optical access technology that will follow 10-Gbps GPON, or XG-PON. 

“One of the goals in FSAN is to converge on one solution that can serve all the markets - residential users, enterprise and mobile backhaul," said Derek Nesset, co-chair of FSAN's NG-PON task group. 

Candidate technologies include an extension to the existing GPON and 10 Gigabit GPON (XG-PON1) based on time-division multiplexing (TDM). Already vendors such as Huawei have demonstrated prototype 40Gbps-capacity PON systems, a hybrid version of TDM/WDM-PON (so called TWDM-PON). Other schemes include WDM-PON variants and orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM).
The key is to pick a technology that will be compatible with existing PON systems and ideally compatible with existing access infrastructure.
FSAN says it now has a detailed understanding of the candidate technologies. "We are trying to narrow down the solutions and the ideal is to get down to one,” said Nesset.
FSAN will choose the technology before September 2012. Once FSAN has concluded its studies, member companies will generate “contributions”, which will be passed to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for standardisation. 
Such standardisation is not expected before mid-2013 at the earliest. FSAN's timetable is based on operators wanting systems deployable in 2015. That requires systems to be ready for testing by 2014. 
FSAN is the pre-standards forum consisting of telecom service providers, testing labs and equipment manufacturers. It crafted what become the ITU standards for GPON and XG-PON1.
By Roy Rubenstein