Tellabs Lays Out WDM-PON Plan

LAS VEGAS -- NXTcomm 2008 -- What do you do when you're having such a hard time gaining traction with GPON that you voluntarily give up your biggest customer? (See Tellabs Kills Its Verizon GPON Efforts.) Get a head start on the next big thing –- WDM-PON.

Tellabs Inc. (Nasdaq: TLAB; Frankfurt: BTLA) is planning to do just that, joining a three-year project for developing what promises to be the next big step in broadband access. (See Tellabs Preps for WDM-PON.)

Tellabs will spend that time working as part of a European commission of research firms, services providers including Orange (NYSE: FTE), and other vendors on what they're calling the Scalable Advance Ring-Based Passive Dense Access Network Architecture. Since you’ll never remember or want to repeat that ever again, the project also goes under the name Sardana.

Tellabs will help develop and conduct field trials of WDM-PON technology that will be 128 times faster out of the optical line terminal (OLT) than today’s GPON networks. It's just a test for now, meaning it's not certain the technology will get commercialized for mass production.

"We operate out of the assumption that bandwidth demand will continue to grow,” says Mark Cannata, Tellabs's director of marketing for access products. "We think you’re going to need to dedicate a wavelength per home."

In current PON architectures, the wavelength of light that comes out of the OLT is typically split among 32 different homes. With WDM-PON, it's possible to give each home its own wavelength, opening the possibility of sending customers 1 Gbit/s or more.

Tellabs will be testing ways of using narrower optical spacing to cram more wavelengths onto each fiber. "It requires all kinds of electronic and optical compensation techniques to make sure that the wavelengths don’t interfere with each other," Cannata says.

Most vendors agree WDM-PON looks like a long-term winner. But so far, it's too expensive for most carriers to consider.

Tellabs believes carriers are five years away from needing WDM-PON. But even though GPON has been moving slowly, Tellabs doesn't expect the same thing to happen with WDM-PON once it hits the market.

"A lot of my time is spent with customers trying to convince them just to move to PON in the first place," says Cannata. "It takes a big step to decide to make the capex investment to string fiber all the way to the premises. But once you’ve gotten past that first step of Layer 1 infrastructure, when things like WDM-PON come along you’ll be able to just modify electronics at both ends of the fiber connection and deliver a wavelength of light to each customer."

Tellabs says it wants to get an early head start on WDM-PON so it can be ready the moment carriers start demanding it. While its GPON experience with its biggest customer, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), was not a successful one, Tellabs says it would certainly welcome having the telco back as an access customer with WDM-PON.

— Raymond McConville, Reporter, Light Reading

opticalwatcher 12/5/2012 | 3:38:33 PM
re: Tellabs Lays Out WDM-PON Plan Ring based PON?
cw.774 12/5/2012 | 3:38:31 PM
re: Tellabs Lays Out WDM-PON Plan Yea tera, that's a good question.

Are links P2P or P2MP? And what to compare to? Public information like ADC WDM PON seams to say it's everything... whatever you want it to be. But what is Tellabs really considering? Maybe they don't know yet... it's all customer dependant for now. Maybe they just need to sound positive on the PON front. Good Q!
opticalwatcher 12/5/2012 | 3:38:30 PM
re: Tellabs Lays Out WDM-PON Plan Looking at the Sardana fact sheet:

It looks like a 1.2 terabit WDM ring to connect a bunch of remote nodes to the CO. Each remote node pulls off a 10Gig wavelength and implements a 10Gig PON (which they call a 'TDM tree' in the document).

Wild. From my non-expert eyes, it looks pretty expensive, which I guess would be good for Tellabs.
cw.774 12/5/2012 | 3:38:20 PM
re: Tellabs Lays Out WDM-PON Plan Thanks, tera.

From my optical <bottom> layer perspective, it looks like a plan to throw all well-known optical technologies at a PON ala SDH/SONET LH. The remote node seams like a ROADM. Known DWDM tech. like AWG's, Ext. Mod and DML laser sources, OA's are EDFA and RAMAN.
Very wide open though. No mention of seed light sources and monochromatic ONT trasnceivers for low cost here. You gotta love Europe.</bottom>
bollocks187 12/5/2012 | 3:38:17 PM
re: Tellabs Lays Out WDM-PON Plan Fishy to say the least.

The problem with GPON ONTS is they continue to be TOO expensive and OFFER no long term cost reductions.

ACCESS is supposed to be simple - KISS
jmlspt 12/5/2012 | 3:37:46 PM
re: Tellabs Lays Out WDM-PON Plan Sardana project is pure research trying to reach the product stage. IMO, we are still in a very early stage in the access network revamping to start thinking about Sardana-like proposals (5-10 years from now is probably more realistic).
Considering the current optical equipment costs and the revenue obtained by operators, the access network transition will be slow with moderate fiber deployments.
rs50terra 12/5/2012 | 3:37:42 PM
re: Tellabs Lays Out WDM-PON Plan Let's get real. The ultimate solution is P2P. With CO-based splitter deployments the infrastructure is identical to P2P and P2P can use standard 1GE transceivers, thus satisfying any foreseeable need.
Fan-dorin 12/5/2012 | 3:37:21 PM
re: Tellabs Lays Out WDM-PON Plan First lets see what is the limitation of G/E- PON: capacity, distance, IP oriented service lack of tdm providing)
from other side WDM: capcity and distance focus!

How about CWDM, quite cheap, capacity up to 18 walength per fiber pair (every 2.5G), passive mode possible up to 80 km ptp. Mature standard.

competion IP+CWDM vs GPON?
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