Omdia Surveys: PON will be a key part of network operator energy reduction strategies

Omdia (owned by Informa) surveys have found a “very high” number of telcos regarded PON as a key part of their energy savings programs. Omdia’s chief analyst Julie Kunstler said PON technology is fiber-asset efficient, easy to upgrade, and highly secure.

Speaking at a Light Reading webinar Thursday, Kunstler said another large cohort of network operator execs said they believed PON would play some role in their energy reduction strategies. “PON is energy efficient and this is definitely gaining attention.”  Kunstler said “a very strong movement” by operators was underway toward next gen PON, in particular XGS PON. “But perhaps more importantly, PONs are also supporting other types of customers and applications.”  She also noted PON technology was fiber-asset efficient, easy to upgrade, highly secure and allowed operators to choose when to upgrade. But she cautioned that in many telcos PON faced organizational obstacles because of the belief that it was for consumer services only and because of the silos between residential and business.

Anuradha Udunuwara, a senior enterprise solutions architect at Sri Lanka Telecom, said energy costs had become a bigger concern in the past 12 months following sharp hikes in power tariffs. He agreed that PON “definitely has an advantage… it is passive, so there is no energy consumption there.”

Udunuwara described PON as an “architectural option” that could support FTTX deployment. He said it was a myth about PON that it was for FTTH only. “It’s not confined to any of the variations of FTTX.”  He expected that in the long run services would converge on to a single access technology.

“Oftentimes, sales and marketing teams don’t feel comfortable about PON, simply because they don’t understand it,” Kunstler said. “Many believe its point to multipoint topology is for residential only and that it’s simply best effort and there’s no technical ability to support enterprise services.”

“A lot of education is needed within some operators to explain to the sales and marketing team that PON is not just best effort and that you can actually commit to rates,” she pointed out.

“Not all enterprises need point to point. They don’t all need their own dedicated fiber, and many of them really don’t want to have to pay for dedicated fiber.”

Kunstler said selling business services over PON increased the ROI over that access infrastructure. “With 10G PON, you can easily support one gig symmetrical, two gig symmetrical five gig symmetrical and so forth, and 50 GPON, which will be here within a couple of years, can even support more bandwidth.

By using that optical distribution network for more than just residential, operators were already moving to a converged access approach. “You have more revenues over a single access network. You have a single network to upgrade. You have improved optics and you have improved energy savings.”


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