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4 May 2012
ZTE shipped 1.8 million passive optical network (PON) optical line terminals (OLTs) in 2011 to become the leading supplier with 41 percent of the global market, according to Ovum. The market research firm also ranks ZTE as the second largest supplier of PON optical network terminals (ONT) in 2011, with 28 percent global market share. 
China now accounts for over half the total fibre-to-the-x (FTTx) deployments worldwide. ZTE says 1.05 million of its OLTs were deployed in China, with 70 percent being EPON and the rest GPON.
Overall, EPON accounts for 85% of total deployments in China. GPON deployments are growing, however, and ZTE expects the technology to gain share of the overall Chinese PON market. 
Of the three main operators, China Telecom is the largest. It is mainly deploying fibre-to-the-building (FTTB), and is moving to fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) deployments using GPON. China Unicom has a similar strategy. China Mobile is focused on FTTB and LAN technology; since it is a mobile operator and has no copper lines, it uses LAN cabling for networking within the building.
The split ratio (the number of PON ONTs connected to each OLT) varies by deployment. "In the FTTB scenario, the typical ratio is 1:8 or 1:16; for FTTH the typical ratio is 1:64," said Song Shi Jie, director of fixed network product line at ZTE.
ZTE says it has also deployed 200,000 10-Gigabit EPON (10GEPON) lines in China but none so far elsewhere, either 10GEPON or XG-PON1 (10-Gigabit GPON). "ZTE is co-operating with some Tier 1 operators in Europe and the US for 10GEPON and XG-PON1 testing," Song added.
By Roy Rubenstein