Verizon's View of NG-PON2 Channel Bonding

Verizon is hoping that bringing channel bonding to NG-PON2 will finally allow it to increase bandwidth on an access fiber network without also changing out the equipment that sits in the field.

Vincent O'Byrne, director of access technology at Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), tells Light Reading today in an interview, that his company is trying to learn from the painful experiences of moving from broadband passive optical networks (BPON) to gigabit PONs (GPON) and now to next-generation PON (NG-PON2), and having in each instance to either replace existing optical line terminals in the outside plant or deploy new equipment adjacent to those boxes in order to boost bandwidth.

Commenting on the day that one of its trial vendors -- Calix -- announced a successful demo of NG-PON2 channel bonding, O'Byrne said Verizon pushed for that standard so it can add bandwidth by adding wavelengths and then deliver more throughput per customer by bonding those wavelengths, for up to 40 Gbit/s symmetrically. (See Calix Touts Channel Bonding for NG-PON2).

There are already businesses and cell sites today that need more than a 10Gbit/s service, and there is no guarantee residential customers won't someday need that kind of capacity, O'Byrne notes.

"When we started [with BPON] in 2004, we were offering 5 Megs or as high as 30 Megs soon thereafter, but we never thought we could need up to a gigabit per second for residential customers," he says. "Within 13 years, the rates have increased between 30 and 200 times. Looking forward, nobody thinks we will need a factor of ten in five years, or beyond that, on a platform that will last ten to 15 years. But we just don't know."

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Verizon pushed for standards in this space that would enable deployment of channel bonding -- which is actually a mature technology in the DSL space -- using specialized optical network terminals (ONTs), on existing field gear.

"What we would like is, third time lucky, to get another chance to do it right," he says. "Instead of having to put a new OLT everywhere -- continue the way we are doing by adding new wavelengths, using specialized ONTs."

The idea is to enable a pay-as-you-grow strategy where channel bonding allows a combination of wavelengths when a customer demands it, and the costs associated with that delivery are only incurred when the revenue is there to justify it.

"Bonded technology is a very important option as we see demand in bandwidth, we can go beyond 10 gig to a customer and and we can do it more gracefully," O'Byrne says. "It's more success-based."

It's likely channel-bonding will be important in delivering the increased bandwidth support 5G cells will require, as those are expected to be smaller and need more backhaul. But the Verizon exec says it's too soon to tell, as 5G standards continue to evolve. It will become more clear down the road whether 5G is primarily a mobile or a fixed access solution and that will impact how backhaul networks are set up.

Channel bonding will enable Verizon to support business and residential customers on the same fiber, he notes. Today, there is concern about doing that, since any disruption to residential service can impact businesses and their service level agreements, but with channel bonding and software-defined access, Verizon will be able to move the business customer to a separate wavelength on the fiber and protect their service from any changes or problems with the residential service.

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

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brooks7 5/25/2017 | 9:42:27 AM
Re: Verizon's confusions  

So. @comtech3...you seem really confused by history.


Let's start with AT&T.  The AT&T we have today is actually primarily what in the old days would have been called South West Bell Telephone Company or SWBT.  They bought Pacbell and Ameritech and became SBC.  From there they bought BellSouth and the old AT&T (the one that bought MediaOne but dumped it years ago) and retook the name AT&T.  The actual video transition/confusion has been over U-Verse and DirectTV.

Verizon on the other hand built FiOS and has run their own video service over it and has nothing to do with DirectTV with FiOS.  They offer DirectTV in places that don't have FiOS.

As to Bonded NG PON...think of it for serving 5G Cell Sites not homes.





KBode 5/25/2017 | 9:40:36 AM
Re: Verizon's confusions "Now here we are with another "lost soul", Verizon. Started out with PON FTTH for Internet and Directv for video. How strange it is that Directv became the common denominator both AT&T and Verizon!"

Difference being, I think, that Verizon's fixed-line network is actually capable of meeting DOCSIS 3.1 gigabit speeds, whereas AT&T's still playing catch up a decade after insisting that it didn't need to run fiber all the way to the home. 
comtech3 5/25/2017 | 8:26:39 AM
Verizon's confusions Like At&T, Verizon's foray into the world of broadband technology was not thought through thoroughly. Lets start with AT&T. Their incursion into cable territory started with the acquisition of the number one cable company at the time, MediaOne. Being a new kid of the block, AT&T did not do a good job of assessing what they were getting into, and as a result, customers started fleeing in droves because of the poor service they had received by their new provider. What ensued was a near collapse of AT&T Broadband, as the company was called. However, the near disaster was mitigated by the company's board and stockholders to agree to a merger worth $72B with then third cable company, Comcast. The rest is history!

Not satisfied with their prior "messed up", AT&T came out with a new broadband strategy with a fancy name to it, called AT&T Uverse. This strategy started out using optical fiber to the cabinet, which was attached to utility poles. These were huge and unsightly monstrosities that elicited the wrath of  neighborhood folks. At the cabinet, the fiber terminated, and the journey to the subscriber's home was taken over by plain old copper line. Of course, this method didn't work out well.

They next embarked on another acquisition, Directv. That apparently made them the largest pay TV company in the US, and possibly, the world. They also went a notch up by being a MVPD with their DirectvNow. But all said and done, AT&T remains a company that seems to have lost its way to the "promised land".

Now here we are with another "lost soul", Verizon. Started out with PON FTTH for Internet and Directv for video. How strange it is that Directv became the common denominator both AT&T and Verizon! Well, subsequently, Verizon added VOIP and video service as part of its Fios package. Fios began with each sub getting their own fiber, and brag a lot about how the cablecos bandwidth was shared by their subs. Verizon got rude awakening when they realize they had to do the same as the cablecos with introduction of optical splitters on a shared backbone.

Come full circle again, and here we have Verizon talking about revaming their transmission method to one of NG2 PON using bonded lightwaves to deliver gigabit services that most households don't need.

steve q 5/24/2017 | 12:06:11 AM

The only way Verizon is able to provide a faster speed with channel bonding with NG-PON2 . Is using the same format as fiber jumper to the customer location,and forgo using the ont as the main point of the frame work. With the use of the fiber jumper it will then let the customer have the ability to use there on router or network device to provide the backbone for there business and home's plus the use of the fiber jumper will let large apartment place use hotpots over fiber to help boost the data/video service to those customer that have a harder time to reach .

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