Fibre rollouts have come in a variety of shapes and sizes over the years, from small private estate deployments to large-scale municipal deployments, and Fibre ISPs (FISPs) have had their fair share of challenges.
One of these challenges is determining which type of optical networking to use in which application.
Let’s start by looking at the different types of fibre technologies available for FTTx.
Active Optical Networking (AON) technology
AON is a point-to-point fibre technology that delivers contention-free connectivity to high demand, high uptime customers over distances of up to 80km.
This technology is mostly used to deliver business-grade connectivity and is the costliest of all the fibre technologies.
AON uses an active optic transceiver and receiver on both ends of the fibre, which normally requires a minimum of 2 fibre strands – one for sending data (Tx) and one for receiving data (Rx).
With the latest bidirectional technology from vendors such as MikroTik, however, one can now establish an AON link using a single strand of fibre, helping FISPs deliver more bandwidth over existing fibre optic cables.
Passive Optical Networking (PON) technology
PON technology is a point-to-multipoint fibre technology that allows for the easy and cost-effective distribution of fibre connectivity in neighbourhoods, estates, and office parks over distances of up to 20km.
MiRO stocks and support two major types of PON technologies: Gigabit Passive Optical Networking (GPON) and Ethernet Passive Optical Networking (EPON).
The difference between GPON and EPON is in the way they transmit and receive data, the maximum throughput each technology delivers, and the maximum number of customers per fibre port.
To successfully build a PON, four components are required:
- The headend, or Optical Line Terminal (OLT), which is available from MiRO in 4, 8 and 16 port configurations.
- EPON/GPON SFP modules to slot into the SFP cages on the OLT.
- Optical splitters to split these optical signals into the required number of splits (this can be anything from 2 to 128, depending on the technology [EPON or GPON] and distance).
- Customer premises equipment (CPE), which in PON terms are known as the Optical Network Terminal (ONT) or Optical Network Unit (ONU), which is installed at each fibre endpoint.
Choosing the right technology
It is indisputable that deploying fibre requires large capital outlay.
What needs to be understood before making this investment is what type of fibre technology will deliver the desired outcome.
Add to this the ongoing operational expenses involved with managing and maintaining a growing network, and it’s clear that the annual costs of licensing and maintenance should also be taken into consideration.
The good news is that not only is BDCOM’s network management software (NMS) totally free, but you also won’t need to worry about annual licencing and support fees.
Combining free technical support from MiRO with the web-based management and network-wide remote discovery and configuration of all BDCOM devices such as OLTs, ONUs and switches, you are sure to build a world-class fibre network while keeping costs down and customer satisfaction up.
The BDCOM NMS also allows for management of VLANs, flow control, addresses, port protection and access control lists (ACLs).
Customisable graphs and charts provide a network performance overview, statistics and problem identification with email alerts and alarms for proactive management of network faults and outages.
Monitoring aspects such as throughput, device statistics and interface states are in real-time.
If you are pondering over which type of network to deploy, contact one of MiRO’s technical specialists who will be able to assist you in making the decision.
MiRO has a footprint that extends past Gauteng and into the Western Cape, Durban, East London and recently, Nairobi, Kenya.
They are just a phone call away!