An IT manager goal of delivering high-speed ethernet to the end user can only happen if they make the best choices in what comes to the technology they opted to use. For that, they must choose between different technologies, where GPON and copper networks are included.
What is GPON?
GPON, which means Gigabit Capable passive optical network, consists of an optical line terminal (OLT) that connects several optical network terminals (ONTs/ONUs) together using a passive optical distribution network (ODN).
The OLT receives Ethernet, voice, and others from the uplink ports and encapsulate those packages in a GEM protocol. The OLT broadcasts this GEM packages that, each one, has a ID. The ONT receives only the GEM packages with his ID, discarding the others.
The ONT as a defined timeslot to send the information to the OLT (TDM).
How does the Copper network work?
A traditional twisted pairs copper cable (UTP) needs a Pear to Pear (P2P) connection between equipments, where one port on the switch must be connected to a port on the end user equipment.
To make this connection, the total distance must be no more than 90 meters of permanent link and 10 meters of patch cords (maximum total distance is 100 meters). If these 90 meters are not enough, this network will need to have repeaters to regenerate the signal, gaining another 90 meters.
To accomplish a P2P connection each end user must have a physical connection (UTP Cable) between his equipment and the nearest floor switch. Each floor switch must have a connection to the building switch, and this one to the Campus switch. Each of those equipments need a technical room, air conditioner, SLA (service level agreement), UPS (uninterrupted power supply).
Main benefits of opting for GPON
– Less energy spent
In a GPON network, the maximum distance is 20Km that we can extend to 40Km by changing the OLT port (SFP). So, in almost all the cases, in the enterprise market, this network only needs one technical room.
As the switches are replaced by splitters that are a passive component, there is no need to have more than one air conditioner, SLA, and UPS for the entire network.
This means that the energy needed for the GPON network, compared to the traditional copper network is less than 30%.
Also, the technical room that this technology doesn’t use can be used for other proposes.
– Higher control of bandwidth
Depending on the split ratio that is being used, the bandwidth can be controlled. In situations where the client has low demands, it can be used a split ratio of 1/32 or even 1/64, however, in more demanding situations, the split can be reduced until it guarantees 1Gb/s.
Depending on the network plan, the split ratio on the cabinet can be changed, simply by changing a patch cord.
– Lower Upgrade Costs
One of the biggest concerns when choosing a cable network is the lifetime of that investment. In a twisted pair solution, the estimated lifetime is around 10 years until the next improvement in technology, that increases the bandwidth and all the cables, plugs, patch cords and equipment need to be replaced (Cat 5, Cat 5e, Cat 6, Cat 6e, Cat 7, …).
This cost to upgrade, and the inconvenience of the works make the companies delay as much as they can this upgrade, even if it is considered a must.
In a GPON network, a bandwidth upgrade just needs to replace the OLT port (SFP) and the ONT. There is no need to replace the cables because the fiber can support much bigger data transmission than the ones that the current technology uses (2,5Gb/s to 40Gb/s). In recent tests, a single fiber was able to transmit 250Tb/s.
– More sustainable
The fiber optic cable uses 5% of the space required for the twisted pair network, so we are able to reduce the pathway for the cables, reduce plastic in the cables jackets, and no metals are used.
Less plastic and metals in the pathway for cables, less plastic in the cables jackets, no metal in the cables, less consumed energy, reduction on electronic equipment, and a lot fewer residues from the installation and obsolete cables. We can say that it’s a Green Network!
Related articles: PON network: What it is and why it is the telcos’ top choice?