EPON vs GPON Comparison Diagram

StandardITU.TIEEEIEEE 802.3ah
Split ratio1:64~1:1281:16~1:321:1
BearerATM, Ethernet, TDM
Bandwidth efficiency92%
QOSVery good,
including Ethernet, TDM, ATM
only ethernet
Good, dedicate bandwidth
Class A/B/C
RangingEqD Logical equidistanceRTT
standard format
Manufacturer custom/
TDMTDM over Ethernet (PWE3, CESoEthernet)or native TDM)
TDM over Ethernet
(PWE3, CESoEthernet)
Good, dedicate bandwidth
OAMITU-T G.984(powerful)Ethernet OAM(Weak, factory expansion)IEEE 802.3ah
middle OPEX/

GPON adopts SONET/SDH technology and General Framing Protocol (GFP) to transport Ethernet. It encodes based on IP and ATM or GEM (GPON encapsulation method) encoding.


EPON is an Ethernet-based IEEE standard. It supports packet-based transmission at a speed of 1 Gbps or 10 Gbps.


EPON and GPON have different data protocols


ON technical standardization progress


EPON and GPON differ in architectural approach


GPON provides three Layer 2 networks: ATM for voice, Ethernet for data, and proprietary encapsulation of VoIP. EPON uses a single Layer 2 network that uses IP to transmit data, voice, and video.


GPON uses ATM technology to provide virtual circuits for different types of services that are sent from a central office to the users’ end. The transport can provide high-quality services, but it also spends a lot on different virtual circuits according to different services. In addition, GPON devices require multiple protocol conversions, segmentation and reconfiguration (SAR), virtual channel (VC) termination, and point-to-point protocols (PPP).


EPON is more cost-effective than GPON


EPON supports split ratios of 1:32 and 1:64, while GPON supports typically 1:64 and 1:128.


This means that EPON is the best choice when you don’t have to serve many users. While GPON has a large split ratio, so it requires high-performance optical transceiver modules, which can increase the cost. EPON allows for cheaper optics deployed on the ONU because it doesn’t need to achieve a split ratio of 128.


When EPON and GPON have the same user, they have a similar cost on fiber cable and cabinet. But GPON chips and optical modules are more expensive than EPON ones, therefore, EPON is more cost-effective than GPON in terms of installation.


The three Layer 2 protocols in GPON require three management systems, while EPON requires only one, and it doesn’t need multi-protocol conversion. Therefore, EPON has a low cost in this respect.


GPON has a higher data rate than EPON


EPON has symmetric upstream and downstream data rates.


GPON supports multiple data rate levels such as upstream and downstream symmetrical rates as well as upstream and downstream asymmetrical rates, which is more flexible than EPON. And the upstream and downstream rates of GPON are higher than those of EPON.


EPON is more straightforward than GPON at the link layer and access services


EPON uses a simple Ethernet data format that greatly simplifies the link layer and associated management processes, and EPON can provide a variety of services.


EPON is simpler and more straightforward than GPON. The two encapsulation methods and ATM support are not so effective in Ethernet transport.


GPON is considered to be the ideal technology to achieve full coverage of broadband network access


EPON is superior to GPON in terms of layers, while GPON is superior in terms of network access services.


EPON is only suitable for data services, while GPON is suitable for the triple play. EPON solution is based on Ethernet, which is fully compliant with the characteristics, nature, and performance of Ethernet protocols, while GPON uses synchronous optic network technology (SONET) and synchronous digital hierarchy (SDH) to transport Ethernet. The link-layer structure of GPON helps provide better services.


GPON is more manageable. It has rich functions and reserves sufficient OAM in the frame structure. It also develops the OMCI standard.


EPON and GPON have different markets by regions


GPON is popular in North America, while Asia and Europe are mostly using EPON.


EPON is still the mainstream, but GPON has more advantages in terms of performance and has gradually been accepted in more regions and countries.


GPON has a better QOS than EPON


The Ethernet itself cannot handle QoS. Therefore, to make EPON better serve users, the concept of a virtual local area network (VLAN) is proposed. It means that the QoS can be achieved by modifying the priority of received frames. But since VLAN is implemented manually, it is very costly. While GPON itself has good QoS.




EPON and GPON have their advantages and disadvantages. EPON is still the mainstream of PON network technology. EPON technology is mature, compatible with the existing Ethernet, and easy to manage, which has an advantage in terms of time and cost. Ethernet is the best carrier of IP services that is simple to maintain, and easy to expand, and upgrade. EPON is more suitable for users who have requirements on the cost, and don’t need great QoS or security.


GPON is better than EPON in terms of high bandwidth and high transmission efficiency. It supports carrier-grade full service including voice, data, and video. It is more efficiency and has a stronger splitting capacity, which can transmit larger bandwidth services for more users. So it is more suitable for users with multi-service needs and those who have higher requirements for QoS and safety.


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epon vs gpon


EPON and GPON have different data protocols. EPON is an Ethernet-based IEEE standard. It supports packet-based transmission at a speed of 1 Gbps or 10 Gbps. GPON adopts SONET/SDH technology and General Framing Protocol (GFP) to transport Ethernet.

xpon vs gpon


The uplink and downlink rates of xPON are both higher than those of GPON. As is known to all, each PON port can connect up to 128 ONT. xPON supports data rates up to 10 Gbps per PON port, while GPON supports 2.4 Gbps.

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