When you need something more than everyday broadband

When you need something more than everyday broadband

Zyxel’s GPON solutions provide service providers with a great way to deliver fibre-to-the premises or fibre-to-the-home options, and can also be deployed very effectively in hospitality, education, and other organisations that want to make the most of their fibre connection, says Patrick Hirscher, EMEA Wireless Market Development Manager, Zyxel EMEA.

Everyone these days needs fast broadband and most people already know that to get the fastest broadband you need fibre. And while fibre-to-the cabinet (FTTC) services are now becoming much more widely available, these still rely on copper cable to make the last part of the connection (often called the ‘last mile’) to the busines premises or household.

Signals can’t travel over copper wires as fast as they can over fibre, so this last part of the journey slows down broadband speeds. Even so, with FTTC, download speeds of up 80Mbps are possible, which is OK for most small businesses or households – even though this won’t the speed you get all the time.

Going faster

But if you want broadband that is faster than this, giving you up to 330Mbps download speeds in theory – you need fibre-to-the premises (FTTP) or fibre-to-the-home (FTTH), which means that you need to have fibre cabling installed all the way to the building. This option is going to be more expensive but even so, if it what you need, it will be worth the additional cost.

The technology used by Internet service providers to make FTTP available is called Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON). An Optical Line Terminal (OLT) device is used to push out signals along a fibre connection from the service provider’s exchange or Point of Presence (POP), to an Optical Line Network (ONS) or ‘splitter’ device, in the local junction box. This distributes the connection, so that several premises can take advantage of the fibre line.

Optimising fibre connections

GPON technology is also highly desirable option for many organisations that have their own dedicated fibre connection and want to make full use of that bandwidth. Imagine for example, a hotel, school, or business that wants to make services such as IPTV and IP voice available to guests, students, and users, as well as Internet access.

A fibre connection – which could be FTTP or a dedicated leased line (which uses a direct, point-ot-point fibre connection), offering speeds of up to 1Gbps – will give them the additional bandwidth they require, right into their building. But if they then distribute access to various points via copper cabling, they will once be slowing down the signal and not making the best use of all available bandwidth.

Zyxel has made GPON solutions available for some time, but we’ve mainly been providing them to specialist service providers and as such, not promoted them all that much to our partners and end-user customers. But we are now seeing higher levels of interest and deployment in these solutions from all kinds of customer organisations, so we thought it was time to shout about them a little more.

‘Pizza box’

Our main GPON solutions are the OLT1404 and OLT1408A, which provide, respectively, four or eight ports for fibre connections. We affectionately call these ‘pizza box’ solutions because, to our eyes, they look a bit like the boxes in which takeaway pizzas are delivered. But of course, they are much smarter than that. In fact, they are one of smartest pieces of Zyxel technology available and for any service provider that wants to deliver FTTP or FTTH, or any customer that wants to make optimal use of their fibre connection, they are a great solution.

Zyxel also has OLN solutions and gateways that can be used on the customer premises to receive fibre signals. You can read a case study on how these technologies are being deployed in a popular Spanish hotel here.

As an additional benefit, alongside the GPON equipment, we can also provide the NetAtlas EMS management solution, which provides a simple and effective way to monitor and control all of these devices. If you’d like further information, please contact your local Zyxel office or partner.

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