Moto Finishes Two XG PON Trials
In June, the company announced it had done an XG PON trial with Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), which had also tested the technology on Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. gear. (See Verizon Tests XG-PON With Moto Kit and Verizon: Huawei No Shoo-In for XG PON .)
And Motorola has completed another XG PON trial with "a major Chinese operator," says Floyd Wagoner, Moto's director of product marketing.
That trial, in particular, is a sign that Motorola can give Huawei some stiff competition in PON. That's true even at the GPON level, Wagoner says. "We are moving forward in the Chinese market -- Huawei's market -- with price points that are better than theirs on ONTs in some cases."
Neither carrier is all that close to deploying XG PON, though. The China trial, for example, was a test of whether XG PON and GPON can share the same fiber, but the carrier has no immediate plan to actually use XG PON, Wagoner says.
The standard for XG PON is due to be ratified later this year, and most vendors seem to expect deployments won't start for three or four more years.
The first, obvious reason is the cost. Prototype, pre-standard XG PON gear costs 20 times what GPON would, Wagoner says. Even in three or four years, after the standard has been in place and equipment costs have dropped, XG PON could still be four times the cost of GPON, he says.
But there's also no urgent demand for XG PON. Verizon and other carriers think that regular GPON can handle the expected increases in bandwidth demand, Wagoner says.
XG PON is more about reaching larger numbers of subscribers -- feeding apartment complexes (especially in crowded Asian cities) and business parks. "It's not necessarily about getting more bandwidth to the average subscriber," he says. "When that changes, then you'll see the shift to the next tier."
Along those lines, carriers are interested in increasing PON's split -- the number of subscribers who share a central-office port -- to a 1:64 or even 1:128 ratio from today's 1:32, he says. And that brings up an interesting possibility. If a particular area has lots of 1:64 PON deployed and needs more speed, the carrier will probably ratchet the split back to 1:32 rather than move to XG PON, Wagoner says.
This partially explains why Motorola hasn't latched onto WDM-PON, which gives each subscriber a dedicated wavelength. "We don't see the market going there at this point," Wagoner says.
— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading