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May 27, 2022
3 min

XG-PON, NG-PON2, 50G PON: How To Tell Which Option Is Best for Your Network

Note: Check out this recent blog from April 2023 for the latest information: “What comes after 10G? How to Choose the Next Step in Your PON Journey

Service providers often ask me the same two questions:

“Why are there so many 10G and beyond PON standards?”

“Which one should I use?”

In reality, the next standards beyond 10G are already being created, so deployments will always be behind the standards creation. To be successful, service providers must pick a standard and move forward with deploying it.

It’s a bit scary, though, wondering if you’ve made the right decision—especially if you choose a standard that doesn’t have support from the majority of the telecom ecosystem. You could end up with high costs and little support from your vendors.

All the Latest PON Options for Network Engineers

A quick look at the latest standards from the ITU include:

  • XG-PON (10G down / 2.5G up): ITU G.987, 2009. XG-PON is essentially a higher bandwidth version of GPON. It has the same capabilities as GPON and can co-exist on the same fiber with GPON. XG-PON has been minimally deployed to date.
  • XGS-PON (10G down / 10G up): ITU G.9807.1, 2016. XGS-PON is a higher bandwidth, symmetric version of GPON. Again, it features the same capabilities as GPON and can co-exist on the same fiber with GPON. XGS-PON deployments are just beginning.
  • NG-PON2 (10G down / 10G up, 10G down / 2.5G up): ITU G.989, 2015. Not only is NG-PON2 a higher bandwidth version of GPON, it also enables new capabilities like wavelength mobility and channel bonding. NG-PON2 co-exists well with GPON, XG-PON, and XGS-PON.
  • 50G PON (50G down / 10G or 25G or 50G up): ITU G.9802, 2021. The next PON standard is 50G PON, which will deliver several true 10G services, 5G fronthaul, and residential services all on a single fiber. This standard launched in late 2021, but vendors must create the required chips and products to deliver it.

Choosing Your Next PON Technology

Your next PON technology needs to work for all PON-based services (residential, business, mobile). It must also provide a high return on investment. Before you choose, look at all aspects of the deployment—not just the obvious OLT, ONT, and optical components you’ll need.

For instance, delivering true 10G services or greater requires a choice between NG-PON2 and 50G PON. Deploying new residential PON services today? Choosing XGS-PON makes sense because it will deliver the bandwidth you need to excite subscribers for 10 years or more. Learn more about the 10G PON and beyond choices in this white paper: “Drive Down Costs and Accelerate Service Innovation with Next Generation PON.

Vice President, Field Partner Marketing, Calix

Teresa McGaughey is the area vice president field and BSP segment marketing at Calix. With over 20 years of experience in the telecommunications industry with a focus on the access network in software development, product management, sales, and marketing—as well as a patent in router-on-a-chip technology—Teresa has extensive knowledge of what it takes to make networks work from a global perspective. She holds a B.S. in Computer Science. 

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