PON means passive optical network, and Ethernet passive optical network (EPON) is an Ethernet-based PON technology. EPON technology works by the standard of IEEE 802.3 EFM, which uses a point-to-multipoint structure and passive fiber optic transmission to offer various services over Ethernet. It combines Ethernet and PON technology into one. This technology works with any IP-based communications and can be applied in homes, offices, and other places. A typical EPON system is composed of EPON ONU, EPON OLT, and EPON ODN. EPON is widely used in family use and the industry for its advantages.
Time and Cost Advantage
EPON has been adopting mature technology for many years and has already accumulated experience. EPON technology significantly reduces the number of optical fibers, optical transceiver modules, and central office facilities. The third generation of commercial chips have already been launched, and relevant optical modules and chip have been more cost-effective to reach the retail level of scale, which is enough to meet the requirements of current broadband services.
Using EPON as an access network is low-cost, versatile, and eliminates the need for protocol and format conversion for IP data transmission. EPON also saves the cost of maintenance in power supplies to reduce the construction and maintenance cost of the FTTX network. In general, EPON cost is 20% lower than GPON.
EPON system vendors have developed early systems and started small-scale trials while making the standard. On the one hand, it helps create the norm, and on the other hand, it has accumulated the experience of relevant engineering and service for future large-scale production. So, when there are many demands, EPON can be instantly put into production, which reduces the cost.
EPON is based on Ethernet technology, which is by far the most successful and perfect LAN technology. Ethernet can be considered the trend of customer–side LAN technology. Using Ethernet as the access network is not only cost-effective but also universal. Also, it avoids complex transmission protocols and format conversions with high performance and easy management.
EPON can be divided into symmetric and asymmetric EPON. The symmetric EPON offers the same data rates upstream and downstream, and the asymmetric EPON provides different data rates. At present, EPON can provide a downstream data rate of 1.25Gb/s and an upstream data rate of 125Mb/s, which can also be developed to 1GB/s with the development of Ethernet technology.
The data is much higher than the current access methods, which can meet the bandwidth requirements of various services such as broadband Internet, video on demand, online games, video telephony, and digital HDTV. The bandwidth can also be flexibly allocated according to the customers’ needs to be used as the ultimate connection method for customers.
The upgrading of EPON is easier than GPON. It can be upgraded to 10GE EPON by replacing the original PON board. And the original EPON OLT can also be used continually. The user side can directly use 10GE EPON to achieve high-speed Internet access, providing customers with 10 Gigabit and below broadband access.
EPON technology is suitable for Ethernet services, while GPON technology is more suitable for enterprises with multi-service requirements. It is said that 90% of services will be based on IP data, so EPON is still essential in the market, and many countries have decided to construct FTTH based on EPON.
EPON is suitable for different scenarios such as FTTO (office), FTTD (desk), and FTTH (home). Compared to GPON, EPON is more ideal for small and medium businesses.