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Ethernet Passive Optical

Network
(EPON)
:
Building
a
NextAuthors : Glen Kramer and Gerry Pesavento(AllOptic Inc.).
Generation Optical Access
COURSE CEG 790
Network
Instructor Dr. Bin Wang
Presenter Ram Iyer

Overview

Introduction
What are Passive Optical Networks ?
Deployment Scenario of Next-Generation Access
Networks
Types of PON technologies
Different types of PON topologies
What are EPONs ?
How does an EPON work ?
Issues related to EPONs
Benefits of using EPONs
IEEE P803.3ah status
The market for EPONs
Conclusion

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Introduction

Internet has spawned genuine demand for


broadband services, leading to
unprecedented growth in Internet Protocol
(IP) data traffic. This humongous data
traffic is putting pressure on carriers to
upgrade their networks.
An improvement over 56 kb/s is unable to
provide enough bandwidth for emerging
services such as the IP telephony, Video
on Demand (VoD), interactive gaming, or
two-way video conferencing.
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Per-user bandwidth requirements for


new services kept increasing as
shown

A new technology is
required which
would be able to
handle the
bandwidth hungry
services.
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What is a Passive Optical


Network (PON) ?

Passive Optical Network (PON) is a high


bandwidth Point-to-Multipoint (P2MP) optical
fiber network based on the Asynchronous
Transfer Mode protocol (ATM), Ethernet or TDM.
Components used in Passive Optical
Network
PONs generally consist of an OLT (Optical Line
Termination), which is connected to ONUs
(Optical Network Units). OLT and ONUs are
explained in the later slides of the presentation.

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Properties of PONs

PONs rely on light waves for data transfer.


Only passive optical components are used
such as optical fiber, splices and splitters.
PONs minimizes the fiber deployment in both
the local exchange office and the local loop.
PONs provides higher bandwidth due to
deeper fiber penetration, offering gigabit per
second solutions.

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Range of operation of
PONs

PONs aim to break the First Mile (once called as Last Mile)
bandwidth bottleneck by targeting the sweet spot between T1s
and OC-3s that other access network technologies do not
adequately address. PONs are capable of delivering high
volumes of upstream and downstream bandwidth (up to 622
Mbps downstream and 155 Mbps upstream).
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Deployment scenario of NextGeneration Access Network

A logical way to deploy optical fiber in the local


access network is using a point-to-point (P2P)
topology, with dedicated fiber which runs from
the local access network to each end-user
subscriber (Figure a)

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Deployment of Next-Generation
Access Network contd..

Second method is to deploy a remote switch


(concentrator) close to neighborhood since it reduces
the fiber deployment as shown in (Figure b). The main
downside of this curb switch architecture is it requires
electrical power as well as the backup power at the curb
unit and currently, one of the highest cost for local
exchange carriers is providing and maintaining electrical
power in the local loop.

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Deployment of Next-Generation
Access Network contd..

In the third we can see that a PON actually minimizes the


amount of optical transceivers, central office terminations,
and the fiber deployment. As stated earlier a PON is a pointto-multipoint (P2MP) optical network with no active
elements in the signals path from the source to destination.
PONs basically use passive optical components, such as
optical fiber, splices, and splitters. This is show in the Figure
c.

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Decrease in the number of


Fibers and Transceivers used
Point to point network - Number of Fiber
Number of Transceivers

- 32
- 64

Curb-switched network - Number of Fibers


Number of Transceivers

-1
- 66

Passive Optical Network - Number of Fiber


Number of Transceivers

-1
- 33

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Types of PON
technologies
PON

Asynchronous transfer mode


PONs (APONs)

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Ethernet PONs (EPONs)

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Passive Optical Networks


APONs
EPONs

Data is transmitted in fixed Data is transmitted in variablelength 53-byte cells as


length packets of up to 1,518
specified by ATM protocol.
bytes according to IEEE 802.3

APONs dont deliver data,


protocol for Ethernet.
video and voice over a
EPONs deliver data, video and
single platform.
voice over a single platform

APONs offer insufficient


EPONs offer higher bandwidth
bandwidth
EPONS are less expensive than

APONs are expensive


APONs

APONs do not provide


broader service capabilities EPONs provide broader service

capabilities

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Components used in PON


topologies
All transmission in a PON are performed between an
optical line terminal (OLT) and optical network units
(ONUs).
What is Optical Line Terminal (OLT) ?
An OLT resides in the local exchange (central office),
connecting the optical access network to the metro back-bone.
What are Optical Network Units (ONUs) ?
The ONU provides the interface between the customers data, video,
and telephony networks and the PON. Its function is to receive traffic
in a optical format and convert it into customers desired format
(Ethernet, IP multicast, T1, etc.)
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Typical PON architecture


APONs

EPONs

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Different types of PON


topologies

Tree topology
Bus topology
Ring topology
Tree with redundant trunk

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PON topologies

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Figure 3

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Why do we require
EPONs?
We require EPON technology since it has
the following qualities:
it is inexpensive,
simple, scalable and
capable of delivering bundled voice,
it provides data and video services to an
end-user subscriber over a single
network.
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What are EPONs?

Ethernet passive optical networks (EPON) are


an emerging access network technology that
provides a low-cost method of deploying
optical access lines between a carrier office
(CO) and customer site.
We can say that, Ethernet Passive Optical
Networks (EPONs) represents the convergence
of low-cost Ethernet equipment and low-cost
fiber infrastructure, to be the best candidate
for the Next-Generation access network.
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How does an EPON work ?

In a EPON the process of transmitting


data downstream from the OLT to
multiple ONUs is fundamentally
different from transmitting data
upstream multiple ONUs to the OLT.
The different techniques used to
accomplish the downstream and
upstream transmission in a EPON are
shown in Figure 4 and Figure 5.
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Downstream traffic in
EPON

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Downstream Traffic flow in an


EPON
Consider the downstream traffic in EPON

In the Figure 4, the data broadcasted downstream from


OLT to multiple ONUs in variable-length packets of up to
1,518 bytes, according to IEEE 802.3 protocol. Each
packet carries a header that uniquely identifies it as
data intended for ONU-1, ONU-2 or ONU-3.At the splitter
the traffic is divided into three separate signals, each
carrying all of the ONU specific packets. When the data
reaches the ONU, it accepts the packets that are
intended for it and discards the packets that are
intended for other ONUs. For example, in figure 4, ONU1 receives packets 1, 2 and 3; however only two packets
are delivered to end user 1.

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Downstream Frame Format


in an EPON

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Upstream traffic in EPON

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Upstream Traffic flow in a


EPON
Consider the downstream traffic in EPON

Figure 5 shows the upstream traffic is managed utilizing


TDM technology, in which transmission time slots are
dedicated to ONUs. The time slots are synchronized so
that upstream packets from the ONUs do not interfere
with each other one the data is couple onto the common
fiber. For example, ONU-1 transmits packet 1 in the first
time slot, ONU-2 transmits packet 2 in the second nonoverlapping time slot, and ONU-3 transmits packet 3 in
a third non-overlapping time slot.

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Upstream Frame Format in an


EPON

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Transceiver Issues

There are number of issues which have


surfaced by the use of transceivers (A
transceiver is a device which is capable
of transmitting and receiving signals)
Due to the unequal distances between
the central office and ONUs, optical signal
attenuation in the PON is not same for
each ONU i.e. the power level received at
the OLT will be different for each ONU
(this is also called as near-far problem)
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Transceiver Issues Contd.

As shown in the Figure below, one ONUs signal strength is lower


at the OLT, which is most likely due to the longer distance.

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Approaches suggested to
solve the attenuation
problem
There are couple of approaches which are suggested in this
paper but they have not been implemented since they have
their own drawbacks

One of the approaches suggested is:

To allow ONUs to adjust their transmitter power such that


power levels received by the OLT from all the ONUs becomes
the same.

Drawback of this approach:

This method is not favored by the transceiver designers


because it makes the ONU hardware more complicated,
requires special signaling protocol for feedback from the OLT
and ONU and most importantly degrades the performance of
the all the ONUs to that of the of the most distant unit.

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Security
Is Encryption mechanism necessary in
Passive Optical Network ?

Encryption mechanism is necessary


since a malicious ONU if placed in
promiscuous mode would be able to
read all the downstream packets.
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On which layer of the OSI


model the encryption must
be placed?

If the encryption is placed in the MAC layer then it will


encrypt the MAC frame payload only, and leave the
headers in plain text. This method prevents malicious
ONUs from reading the payload, but they may still
learn other ONUs MAC address.
Implementing the encryption scheme on the physical
layer would encode the entire bit stream, including the
frame headers and CRC. In this scheme no information
is learned by a malicious ONU. But the difficulty is the
physical layer is a connectionless layer. Requiring the
Physical layer in a OLT to apply different keys for
different ONUs will make it connection-aware.
So encryption in EPON still remains an open question.

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Benefits of Ethernet PONs

Higher bandwidth: up to 1.25 Gbps symmetric


Ethernet bandwidth
Lower Costs: lower up-front capital equipment
and ongoing operational costs
More revenue: broad range of flexible service
offerings means higher revenues

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Higher bandwidth

More subscribers per PON


More bandwidth per subscriber
Higher split counts
Video capabilities
Better QoS

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Lower Costs

Cost reduction in the case of EPONs are achieved


by simpler architecture, more efficient operations,
and lower maintenance needs of an optical IP
Ethernet network.
Eliminate complex and expensive ATM and SONET
elements and dramatically simplify the network
architecture
Long-lived passive optical components reduce
outside plant maintenance
Standard Ethernet interfaces eliminate the need
for additional DSL or cable modems
No electronics in outside plant reduces need for
costly powering and right-of-way space

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More Revenue
Revenue opportunities from EPONs include:

EPONs support for legacy TDM, ATM and SONET


services.
Delivery of new Gigabit Ethernet, fast Ethernet,
IP multicast and dedicated wavelength services.
Provisioning of bandwidth in scalable 64 Kbps
increments up to 1 Gbps.
Tailoring of services to customer needs with
guaranteed SLAs (Service License Agreement).
Quick response to customer needs with flexible
provisioning and rapid service reconfiguration.

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IEEE P802.3ah status

The standards work for Ethernet in the local


subscriber access network is being done in the
IEEE P802.3ah Ethernet in the First Mile (EFM) Task
Force.
In order to evolve Ethernet for local subscriber
networks, P802.3ah is focused on four primary
standards definitions:
Ethernet over copper
Ethernet over P2P fiber
Ethernet over P2MP fiber
Operation, administration, and maintenance (OAM)

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IEEE 802.3ah has been approved. Materials concerning the


P802.3ah standards effort and the presentation materials
can be found at:
http://www.ieee802.org/3/efm/index.html
http://www.ieee802.org/3/efm/public/index.html

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The Market for EPONs

Analysts expect the optical access


market to grow rapidly.
CIBC (Canadian Imperial Bank of
Commerce) forecasts the market for
PON access system to reach $1 billion
by 2004 from $23 million in 2000.
P2P optical Ethernet offer the best
possibility of a turnaround in the
telecom sector.
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Conclusion

The future of broadband access network


is likely to be a combination of point-topoint and point-to-multipoint Ethernet,
optimized for transporting IP data, as
well as time critical voice and video.

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References

Topics in Lightwave: Ethernet Passive


Optical Network (EPON): Building the
Next-Generation Optical Access Network
Glen Kramer and Gerry Pesavento, Alloptic,
Inc.

http://www.iec.org/online/tutorials/
epon/

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