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Nokia Siemens Networks

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change without notice.
Optical connectivity
for the Gigabit society
White Paper
2 Next Generation Optical Access (NGOA)
Executive summary
Next Generation Optical Access
(NGOA) will force operators to
re-think their entire business
model, with a sharp focus on their
Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).
It heralds a fundamental change
from just providing a connection or
With NGOA, furnishing operators
with the ability to provision faster
and longer connections will enable
them to do much, much more,
from software to content as well
as the provision of a connection.
These new revenue streams
will mean increased profit and
increased profit means growth:
something that is scarce in the
face of stiff competition and a
harsh economic climate.
The volume of communication
traffic is exploding, due to ever
increasing subscriber numbers
and the rise of multimedia based
data-hungry applications.
The popularity of applications
such as social networking
and video sharing are turning
consumers into content creators,
while interactive services change
peoples behavior from merely
just consuming content into full
This growth continually
accelerates, with subscribers
demanding multi-channel,
interactive high definition television
(HDTV) and more bandwidth
intensive applications, looking for
the personalized experience.
Peer-to-peer (P2P) traffic is
expected to be the dominating
network traffic type going forward,
but traffic is also becoming more
of a two-way street in other areas
of online activity. For example,
the rise of online communities
and video-sharing sites such as
Facebook and YouTube mean that
subscribers are generating and
uploading their own content.
Typically, operators couch these
challenges within the Fiber-to-
the-Home (FTTH) connectivity
arena. But its not just about the
FTTH arena: an operators view
should be broadened, with focus
also on the needs of business and
enterprise connectivity.
Figure 1 Turning consumers into content creators
Next Generation Optical Access (NGOA) 3
For the end-user, its always
about accessing and utilizing
the latest application or service.
They require more and more
applications and higher service
flexibility, underpinned with
connectivity that is always on and
accessible anywhere.
Multi-channel, interactive HDTV
is getting closer. The semantic
web starts to become a reality,
whereby content can be read
and understood by machines. By
understanding the meaning of
content, intelligent software agents
pull together relevant information
from across the Web to achieve a
wide range of tasks, from booking
your next holiday to research for
an academic paper.
As technology becomes more
sophisticated, life will get easier
for users as applications become
more natural and intuitive to use.
For example, there will be open
identity services that will enable
users to be recognized wherever
they go on the Web, without
having to remember multiple user
names and passwords.
Cloud computing is also becoming
a reality, allowing users to store
information and run applications
on the Web rather than on their
own equipment. The cloud
will enable users to access
technology-enabled services from
the Internet (located in the cloud)
without knowledge of, expertise
in, or control over the technology
infrastructure that supports them.
Taken together, all these
developments add up to increased
demand for bandwidth. Demand
will continually grow, with 1Gbit/s
or more per household soon being
the reality.
4 Next Generation Optical Access (NGOA)
Todays connectivity networks will
not ultimately be able to cope with
the level of bandwidth previously
outlined. All-optical technology
provides the only practical way of
delivering the required network
capacity, while providing a
unified platform for connectivity,
aggregation and backhaul.
As the call for increased
bandwidth grows, operators must
be able to respond in a flexible
and cost effective manner. In order
to meet the challenges imposed,
a radical rethink of current
network architecture needs to be
undertaken, with tight controls on
CAPEX and OPEX in the forefront.
Operators will likely invest in
incremental changes as and
when they are needed, signaling
a smooth migration from todays
technologies to future optical
connectivity networks. As depicted
in Figure 2, some network
operators have already started
to deploy FTTH technologies,
in the form of Gigabit passive
optical networks (GPON) and
Ethernet PON (EPON). The
fiber tree structure of GPON not
only reduces the total length of
fiber required in the network, it
also minimizes the number of
aggregation ports required to
organize the traffic from different
subscribers once it reaches the
networks central office.
This is just a first step. The mid-
to long-term target is not only
to downsize the equipment in
each office, but also to reduce
the number of local and central
offices, with a future high capacity
optical connectivity architecture
being used to reduce the number
of offices across a region or even
country. To turn this vision into a
reality, future technology needs
to have a reach of 80 kilometers
or more between subscribers and
central offices.
At the same time as reducing
CAPEX, reducing the number of
offices will have a major impact on
both OPEX and the environmental
performance of networks, through
cutting energy consumption. As
Network consolidation
to drive down costs
environmental legislation begins to
intensify, reducing energy use will
help operators meet their targets
for emissions reductions.
Operators will welcome a smooth
migration to a future optical
connectivity architecture, having
already invested in a range of
different infrastructures and
technologies, such as xDigital
Subscriber Line (xDSL), Passive
Optical Network (PON), Ethernet
and Cable TV. The pressure is on
to maximize returns and optimize
future investments. So it must
be possible for each operator
to migrate smoothly, regardless
of which architecture and
infrastructure they currently have
in place.
Metro Core
Figure 2 The complexity of modern network infrastructures
Next Generation Optical Access (NGOA) 5
Currently deployed optical
connectivity networks are typical
based on PONs, underpinned by
Time Division Multiplexing (TDM)-
based technologies which require
high speed electronics and optics,
yet are capable of delivering
comparably low data rates over
short distances.
Gigabit Passive Optical
Networking (GPON) is one of
these technologies, relying on
TDM to split signals between
different services and subscribers,
offering a limited splitting factor (up
to 64 subscribers) and a limited
distance between the subscriber
and their nearest network office
(around 20 kilometers). GPON is
also unable to offer true scalability,
in terms of reach & number of
users that can be connected,
coupled with the fact of its
characteristic of shared bandwidth.
GPON also requires active
components in intermediate office
locations, which continue to cost
money to install and maintain.
The increased distance necessary
for future optical connectivity
networks will never be practical for
conventional GPON architectures,
primarily due to its TDM
characteristics and its inability
to carry more than one signal
on a fiber. Furthermore, GPON
technology also suffers from the
following limitations:
of current optical connectivity
TDM struggles with issues
of timing if the users vary too
widely in their distance from the
point of aggregation
GPON offers a limited signal
splitting capacity that is unable
to cope with the high number of
users in the catchment area of a
network offce with a wider reach
It would take more powerful
lasers to send a reliable signal
further along a fber, thus
increasing equipment costs
both at the offce and at the
subscribers premises
The truth is that current
connectivity technologies, even
though perhaps adequate for the
short to mid-term, will not cater
for the massive bandwidth that is
forecast for the future.
It is also true that for these
reasons, some technologies
will render part of an operators
investment useless after a
relatively short period of time,
certainly unable to achieve the flat
architecture that is imperative to
really reduce TCO.
6 Next Generation Optical Access (NGOA)
As the world heads towards a
Gigabit society, subscribers will
expect the kind of services that
generate traffic volumes beyond
the reach of todays connectivity
networks. The architecture of
next-generation networks will
require a radical rethink, with a
clear need to increase the reach of
network offices and the capacity of
each access node.
For Nokia Siemens Networks, a
disruptive approach, combining
advanced technology ingredients
to achieve the highest flexibility,
the best use of operator resources
(fibers, bandwidth, etc) and the
most competitive TCO is needed.
As depicted from Figure 3, for
the end-user, an Optical Network
Terminal (ONT) will comprise
advanced laser technology
and associated electronics.
being compact, attractive and
affordable, with a correspondingly
small demand for power. The
ONT should be able to cope
with bandwidth expectations of
1Gbit/s (and higher for the future),
including features such as WiFi
and router capabilities.
for future optical networks
With the potential to support far
more subscribers per fiber than
current technologies, a future
optical connectivity system should
support an extremely high splitting
factor. This in turn will require
the development of Ultradense
Wavelength Division Multiplexing
(UDWDM) to split the optical
signal reliably into much finer
chunks of spectrum. UDWDM will
demand significant advances in
laser technology and this will also
impact on the price of equipment,
where the laser technology will
need to be stable, tunable and
cost effective.
Future optical connectivity
networks will experience
significantly more subscribers
(~1000) on a single fiber, with
each subscriber demanding up to
1Gbit/s at any one time. This will
create a truly enormous amount
of traffic between the subscribers
and the network core, where
equipment will need to handle
Terabits of information.
Subscribers connections will be
shifted from the network in the
central office to the very edge
of the core, rather than lower
network layers (e.g. access
and aggregation). Together with
the fact that a large number of
users are enjoying a wide range
of services, this shift requires
intelligent traffic and service
handling throughout all the
network layers (e.g. transport,
Ethernet and IP).
Figure 3 Future optical connectivity
Next Generation Optical Access (NGOA) 7
A smooth migration path that
allows for incremental change
and the protection of previous
investments is key. The ability to
re-use the fiber that is already
being rolled out by operators is
also important, if we consider
typical investment cycles.
Therefore any approach to a
future optical connectivity system
needs to cope with the full
range of existing architectures
(e.g. Fiber-to-the-Curb (FTTC),
Fiber-to-the-Building (FTTB) or
FTTH), including enterprise and
business connectivity (e.g. mobile
backhaul). This includes the
ability to incorporate all existing
fiber types, splitters and passive
Primarily due to operators
wishing to protect their previous
connectivity investments (e.g.
xDSL, GPON), we believe one of
the first applications of a future
optical connectivity infrastructure
will be that of backhaul, depicted
from Figure 3. Operators will
slowly begin to migrate the uplinks
of these legacy systems, carrying
their consolidated traffic over the
higher capacity system. Even if
they use separate fibers for the
uplink and downlink between the
Digital Subscriber Line Access
Multiplexer (DSLAM)/GPON
Optical Line Terminal (OLT) and
the central office, this approach
reduces the backhaul fiber count
and creates a PON-like topology.
The move to a future optical
connectivity architecture is then
relatively straightforward. The
operator swaps the xDSL cable for
fiber dropped to each home and
swaps the filter for a splitter. The
short-distance office is eliminated
and a high-capacity access
node in the long-distance office
completes the migration.
Making the business case for each
wave of investment is essentially
about choosing the right time to
invest in order to provide the best
fit network capacity to suit current
services and applications.
Our vision of a future optical
connectivity architecture
is one realized through an
UDWDM-based PON approach,
characterized by the complete
absence of any active equipment
between subscribers and the
long-distance office location.
It represents a significant
breakthrough in the architecture
and philosophy of an all-passive
fiber optic network. This resulting
architecture and technology is
known as Next Generation Optical
Access (NGOA), which will take
the form of a fully optical network
from the subscriber to the core.
The NGOA architecture will
be flat, without the need for a
separate aggregation layer and
eliminating active components.
Instead, a virtual point-to-point
connection will be achieved
between the subscriber and the
central office, up to 100 kilometers
away. Passive splitters and filters
will effectively direct the correct
wavelengths to the different users
and the ONTs will access the
wavelength dedicated to them.
Aggregation will take place in
central offices, which will act as
Terabit access nodes and handle
the traffic for thousands of users.
In this architecture, the central
office represents the edge of the
IP core network.
This simple architecture means
that NGOA networks can be
planned flexibly to optimize the
network layers for transport,
Ethernet and routing.
The path
towards change
8 Next Generation Optical Access (NGOA)
As depicted in Figure 4, NGOA
will be able to deliver symmetric
speeds in the range of 1Gbit/s
and beyond for each subscriber,
being more than adequate for
the coming years, even with the
heaviest usage levels. Importantly,
it will provide this extra capacity
in a way that keeps infrastructure
and running costs to a minimum,
including re-using the optical fibers
operators are deploying right now.
It will also be a vehicle to provide
a single, cost-effective delivery
platform for all communication
applications, including traditional
end-user as well as business and
enterprise connectivity.
NGOA will permit the assignment
of one wavelength per subscriber,
allowing for flexible use of the
The ultimate optical connectivity
that is NGOA
Arrayed Waveguide
Grating (AWG)
Backhaul (MBH)
IP core
Passive Optical Distribution Network
Through the use of UDWDM to
provide each subscriber with their
own wavelength, NGOA enables a
level of security and privacy to suit
even the most fastidious users.
The move to a passive, all-optical
network will bring with it step-
changes in network capacity
and environmental performance.
With NGOA, it will be possible
to make enormous savings in
energy by reducing the number
of local offices. Eliminating a
high proportion of network offices
will lead to a massive reduction
in operating costs. In addition,
passive optical components
require less regular maintenance
than active electronic network
elements, leading to further
savings for operators.
More widely, further environmental
benefits will result from a
reduction in travel by users,
since the technology will enable
users around the world to enjoy
a natural, almost face-to-face
communication experience,
without leaving home.
Nokia Siemens Networks, in
conjunction with the Open Lambda
Initiative (OLI), pushes for open
standards. This will encourage
the development of a healthy
community of suppliers in both
applications and equipment
Promoting easier development
and competition will help to drive
innovation and keep costs down in
the long term.
Figure 4 Architectural overview of NGOA
Next Generation Optical Access (NGOA) 9
with competing technologies
With the ever increasing
bandwidth demand from consumer
and business applications, the
most general requirement for a
next generation PON (NGPON)
is to provide higher bandwidth
than existing Gigabit PONs. The
standardization of NGPONs is
currently under discussion within
the Full Service Access Node
(FSAN) group, with various
alternatives being pushed by the
various member organizations
(including suppliers and
As both Gigabit PONs and NG-
PONs will continue to co-exist
for a relatively long period of
time, relevant standards that are
adopted for NGPONs will have to
ensure the following criteria:
Coexistence between Gigabit
PON and NGPON on the
same ODN must be supported
to satisfy cases where fber
resources are not abundant
Service interruption for
subscribers who are not
migrated to NGPON should be
NGPON must support/emulate
all GPON legacy services in
case of full migration
NGPON technologies are divided
into two categories: NGPON1 and
NGPON1 - this supports the
coexistence with GPON on the
same ODN. The coexistence
feature enables seamless
upgrade of individual customers
to NGPON on a live ODN
without disrupting services of
other customers
NGPON2 - known as disruptive
NGPON, with no requirement in
terms of coexistence with GPON
on the same ODN
NGPON1 includes several
technology options. One of
these technologies, XGPON,
represents a PON system with a
10Gbit/s line rate, with upstream
line rate candidates including
2.5 and 10Gbit/s (depending on
the target applications as well
as cost and feasibility of such
devices). XGPON supporting
2.5Gbit/s upstream and 10Gbit/s
downstream line rates is referred
supporting a 10Gbit/s symmetric
line rate is referred to as XGPON2.
NGPON2 is looking out further to
future optical connectivity systems,
with many technical candidates,
including NGOA, higher data
rate TDM and DWDM systems.
NGPON2 is not constrained
by coexistence requirements,
although coexistence is not
precluded. With NGOA,
coexistence is possible, which
combines GPON & NGOA signals
over the same fiber medium.
10 Next Generation Optical Access (NGOA)
The ecosystem
around NGOA
Before any technology can be
deployed mainstream, there needs
to be the relevant standards and
the creation of the ecosystem
around the development of
the technology. Even though
technology that is vying for the
adoption of the NGPON2 standard
is optical-based and an optical
ecosystem already exists, this
ecosystem needs to be enlarged.
Innovative components need to be
designed to meet the requirements
being laid down for NGPONs,
along with the relevant cost and
performance points being reached.
To this end, Nokia Siemens
Networks has already established
partnerships with component
manufacturers and suppliers,
enabling it to deliver the most
advanced, affordable and efficient
optical networking solutions to its
Next Generation Optical Access (NGOA) 11
Nokia Siemens Networks strives
further ahead with NGOA,
heralding it as the ultimate optical
connectivity system, spanning
all networks layers outside of the
core and providing symmetrical,
unshared 1Gbit/s bandwidth per
end-user. Furthermore, NGOA
is not only applicable to the use
cases of FTTH; mobile backhaul
and enterprise connectivity
scenarios are also ideally suited.
NGOA can effectively cover all
existing and future application
scenarios. With its potential
evolution to 10Gbit/s, which will
offer even mixed operation with
1Gbit/s, it is the ideal system to
consolidate different network
technologies. This will simplify
network planning and operation.
With its long reach of up to
100km and truly passive Optical
Distribution Network (ODN)
infrastructure, it can also serve to
consolidate local office sites.
When comparing NGOA with
an Active Ethernet architecture
(which is actually the only real
alternative that can deliver the
requirement of symmetrical
1Gbit/s services), significant TCO
advantages of NGOA are clearly
visible. The passive nature of
the system and the much lower
demand of fibers offer a huge
OPEX savings potential.
A significant portion of the OPEX
savings comes from better
utilization of existing fibers or lower
fiber leasing fees respectively.
Reduced fibers in local offices also
mean less effort in fiber patching
and smaller Optical Distribution
Frames (ODFs).
Although there are significant
technical challenges to overcome
going forward (e.g. standards,
technology, integration, etc), Nokia
Siemens Networks is convinced
that NGOA is the shape of the
future of optical connectivity.