Multi-Gigabit: AT&T Launching Software-Based 10Gbps XGS-PON Broadband Field Trial

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Moving into a Multi-Gigabit era – AT&T will conduct a 10Gbps XGS-PON field trial in late 2017. 

The next-generation PON trial will aim to give consumer and business customers multi-gigabit per second (Gbps) internet speeds. The goal is to support the merging of all services on a single network, including 5G wireless infrastructure.

Customers are requiring faster internet speeds because of bandwidth-heavy applications like virtual and augmented reality and artificial intelligence. XGS-PON helps networks handle the bandwidth from these cutting-edge technologies.

“Software-defined networks and XGS-PON are a natural step along the evolutionary path of PON technology,” said Eddy Barker, assistant vice president, Access Architecture and Design, AT&T. “This is another way we’re enhancing our network and staying ahead of changing consumer and business needs.”

XGS-PON is a fixed wavelength symmetrical 10Gbps passive optic network technology. It also can coexist with the current GPON technology. It can provide 4X the existing downstream bandwidth. And it’s as cost-effective as GPON.

Our vision is to put some of XGS-PON in the cloud with software. Open hardware and software designs speed innovation. It will save time needed to manage, deliver, monitor, troubleshoot and provide care services to customers.

We worked with ON.Lab to develop and test ONOS (Open Network Operating System) and VOLTHA (Virtual Optical Line Terminator Hardware Abstraction) software. It hides the lower level details of the silicon. We also submitted several open white box XGS OLT designs to the Open Compute Project (OCP) and are working with them for approval.

Interoperability is key to our “Open Access” strategy. It led to the creation of an OpenOMCI specification, which provides an interoperable interface between the OLT and the home devices, and was distributed to standards and open source communities. It’s necessary for the Software-Defined Network (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization(NFV).