AlcaLu tweaks its TWDM-PON proposition to allow operators to plug in 10 Gbit/s optical components as a starting point.

February 11, 2015

3 Min Read

PARIS -- Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) is to introduce an enhancement to its TWDM-PON technology that will enable service providers to meet demand for gigabit ultra-broadband access services while significantly lowering the cost of doing so.

Operators are looking to upgrade fixed-line networks to meet demands for data-hungry enterprise cloud services, mobile backhaul for small cell deployments and consumer applications. TWDM-PON (Time and Wavelength Division Multiplexed Passive Optical Networks) is seen as an ideal solution thanks to its highly flexible, 40 gigabits-per-second (Gbps) capacity. However, the current cost of TWDM-PON means that it is better suited for premium gigabit services. For deployments not immediately requiring the full capacity, operators need a TWDM solution with a lower entry cost.

Alcatel-Lucent has solved this issue with ‘Universal TWDM’, an enhancement to its existing TWDM solution. By allowing different types of optics to be used, it enables operators to initially deploy 10 Gbps capacity and easily add more as demand grows, providing a smooth upgrade to full TWDM without the need to replace network components, evaluate new technology, or reconfigure operations and business support systems (OSS/BSS).

Federico Guillén, president of Alcatel-Lucent’s Fixed Access Business Line said: “The primary obstacle for deploying new ultra-broadband infrastructure and services is the business case. Universal TWDM is Alcatel-Lucent’s innovative solution to this challenge. We are enabling operators to build upon their existing fiber investments while bringing down the total cost of ownership of TWDM technology. This means they can immediately address new high-revenue opportunities for gigabit services while knowing that their investment is future-proof.”

Julie Kunstler, Principal Analyst, Intelligent Networks, with Ovum, said: “TWDM-PON is an excellent upgrade for broadband providers, supporting recent, strong demand for residential gigabit services and expanding business/enterprise services. Operators can quickly add capacity in their broadband access networks and completely bypass 10G PON. In Universal TWDM, Alcatel-Lucent has developed an ingenious solution to help operators shrewdly manage their network investments and move directly to TWDM.”

Key facts

  • TWDM-PON requires new optics capable of providing four tunable 10 Gbps wavelengths. With these optics not yet available in large quantities, TWDM’s current cost is higher than established technologies.

  • Universal TWDM enables operators to accelerate TWDM adoption by providing a lower cost solution that scales to full TWDM as demand for gigabit services grows. It also enables operators to:

    • -- Start with one non-tunable 10 Gbps wavelength using commonly available optics, significantly reducing the initial cost of TWDM.
      -- Add more wavelengths – and more capacity – as required by plugging in more optics.
      -- Upgrade seamlessly to full 40 Gbps TWDM without replacing network components – such as line cards, access nodes and optical network units – or reconfigure OSS/BSS.
      -- Protect existing fiber investments, as Universal TWDM and full TWDM-PON can co-exist with current PON technology.

  • Compared to established 10 Gbps technologies, such as XG-PON1, Universal TWDM:

    • -- Has a similar initial cost.
      -- Has a significantly lower cost when switching to full TWDM-PON.
      -- Provides greater revenue opportunities as it supports asymmetrical and symmetrical gigabit services, which are particularly important for enterprise cloud services.

  • Alcatel-Lucent introduced the industry’s first commercial TWDM-PON solutions in October 2014. The technology is supported by the cornerstone of Alcatel-Lucent’s fixed ultra-broadband portfolio, the 7360 Intelligent Services Access Manager FX solution, ensuring smooth network evolution.

    Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU)

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