Long-Term Use and Upgradability Key to Future PON Systems

Release Date:2018-03-27  Author:Reporter: Liu Yang  Click:


The Full Service Access Network (FSAN) Group comprising of around 70 telecom service providers, test labs and equipment vendors, is dedicated to studying optical access technology. At the recent FSAN/ITU-T joint meeting hosted by ZTE, Dr. Jun-ichi Kani, FSAN General Chair and Distinguished Researcher at NTT Access Network Service Systems Labs, talked about FSAN’s role in the PON industry and the impact of 5G transport on PON.  

Could you please give us the big picture of the telecom industry? 

The telecom network has now changed from the old-fashioned telephony network to the broadband network based on the internet protocol. Various attractive services have been developed on top of that. This is the current situation. A very important issue now is to further grow the broadband business.

How do the PON technologies fit into this big picture?

PON is the most viable and future-proof solution for providing broadband access. What I mean is that the fiber access can provide abundant bandwidth and PON is a very cost-effective solution to provide that. It is very important.

How does FSAN help the PON industry move forward?

FSAN is an interest group comprising of PON industry members. Here we are studying the requirements for ideal solutions and technologies, for example, to study future PON systems and also to use operators’ existing PON systems. We are trying to do the work and guiding the efforts of the industry in the same direction.

How does FSAN align its work with that of the other organizations?

First of all, FSAN has a very good relationship with ITU-T Study Group 15 Question 2. In the past, for example, we developed base specifications for 1G PON, 10G PON and 40 GPON systems. After that, FSAN members jointly proposed those base specifications to ITU-T and they are now standardized as ITU-T recommendations. That is one example. Another example is that we are studying interoperability test plans. That work is done in collaboration with the Broadband Forum. Some results have already been published by the Broadband Forum.

What has been the most exciting achievement within FSAN to date? 

Recently, we have developed the base specifications of NG-PON2. They have been standardized as ITU-T G.989 series Recommendation. It’s a next-generation PON to cover various applications, including residential, business and mobile backhaul, fronthaul applications. That is one of the biggest achievements.

What does FSAN’s roadmap mean to you as the General Chair?

We developed the initial PON roadmap in 2007. It served as a guide for the PON industry and NG-PON2 was developed based on that roadmap. Now that NG-PON2 is completed, we have established a new roadmap to show the future direction after NG-PON2. That is currently available on our website and is a new guideline for the PON industry to further develop the systems.

What are some of the latest industry trends and hot topics that FSAN will (should) be focusing on?
The new FSAN roadmap includes some industrial trends, such as 5G mobile and software defined network/network function virtualization (SDN/NFV). Those are very important trends we have to consider when developing the future PON systems.

5G wireless transport has been a hot topic recently. What do you think is the role of optical access in the 5G evolution? 

5G has various technical aspects. Among these, one topic deeply related to optical access is the massive deployment of small cells. If there are a lot of small cells, we have to think about how to effectively connect these small cells to the Central Office. That segment is called mobile fronthaul and could be the new application for PON. So we are now studying the requirements for future mobile fronthaul.

NTT is the world’s largest FTTH operator. What is NTT’s view on optical access technologies? What are we going to see in terms of optical access in the APAC region? 

NTT has massively deployed Gigabit PON systems since 2004. It has been a long time. One thing I have to say is that it is difficult to frequently change the system in the access. If we think about the future system, it is very important to think about the long-term use and also the upgradability. These are very important points that we are studying in FSAN as well. 
You mentioned APAC. In FSAN, we have a lot of APAC members including some Chinese operators. As you know, Chinese operators have deployed a lot of PON systems recently. I think it is a lot more than those deployed in Japan. That is a big accomplishment. In my opinion, many APAC operators will follow the moves in China and Japan.

What do you think of ZTE’s contribution to FSAN? 

ZTE is one of the very active and stable contributors in FSAN and is very much appreciated. ZTE has presented various technical proposals for discussion, which are very helpful for FSAN to find the best solution amongst the many proposals. 

How could ZTE best support FSAN operators’ requirements? 

It is very important to continue to discuss topics in order to reach a creative consensus. Stable and continuous contribution is very much appreciated.  

What are the major challenges for you as chairman of FSAN? How do you overcome them?  

As I mentioned, the recent trends include 5G mobile and SDN/NFV. Many trends will affect the PON requirements in the future. In the past, the application requirements were simple. It was just broadband. But recently you have to consider a lot of different aspects. We are planning a workshop in the next meeting to invite some external experts like mobile network experts and SDN/NFV experts. Also, I am promoting collaboration with Broadband Forum where specifications related to SDN/NFV in access are under study. Through such efforts, I believe we will be able to produce good specifications to support various new applications such as 5G. 

[Keywords] FSAN, PON, FTTH


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