ADTRAN Starts 10 gig Broadband Customer Trials


Move over gigabit broadband service, 10gbps might be on its way sooner than you think. ADTRAN has announced that it has a pool of customers testing out its 10-gigabit service in the US and internationally. The pool of customers includes new market entrants to municipal/utility providers to international Tier 1 carriers. In an interview with CivSource, the company would only name one – the Jackson Energy Authority.

The 10-gigabit service is a Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) offering based on XGS-PON architecture. XGS-PON has emerged as a faster way of getting next generation broadband technology to market while standards boards finish work on NG-PON2. Led by ADTRAN, XGS-PON is an emerging ITU 10G PON standard that bridges the gap between today’s FTTH technologies and NG-PON2. The technology uses existing fiber infrastructure which can make it more cost effective for providers.

“We were able to get approval for XGS-PON last year, and since then we’ve been working to develop a group of test users,” says Kevin Morgan Director of Cloud & Services Marketing at ADTRAN. The timeline to market (6 months in all) is evidence of the efficiency in XGS-PON architecture.

ADTRAN claims that its technology will double the usable life span of a fiber network regardless of how fast the markets broadband traffic usage grows. “What we see is that bandwidth demands double almost every 18 months, so we wanted to develop something that would be able to meet that growth in a practical way,” added Kurt Raaflaub, Head of Global Product Marketing at ADTRAN. Service providers can now support the capacity needed for premium business and mobile backhaul services while also delivering the price points and scale required for mass market residential applications.

Morgan says that some of the customers in the test group were drawn in by the possibility of being able to start providing backhaul services in addition to existing offerings. “The ability to deploy on our current fiber network while still using the same passive and active plants is allowing us to greatly improve the return on our existing fiber network investment,” said Ben Lovins, senior vice president, telecommunications division at Jackson Energy Authority.

ADTRAN’s Morgan says that the popularity of gigabit service for residential customers is driving development as much as enterprise demand. With Netflix accounting for almost half of network capacity in some cases, it’s not surprising. In other countries 10gbps service is already available. Singapore-based Singtel announced a 10 Gbps service in May 2015, for residential and business customers. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU), which sets standards for the industry has even more capacity – 100gbps – in view within the next several years as well. Google Fiber too, seems to be hunting for more capacity here in the US and is reportedly looking for a new photonics engineer to help them get it done. Watch this space.