PON: EPON vs. GPON vs. 10G-PON

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Do you know the Access Network?

If you don’t, you can leave from your computer or phone, go to find your modern and find there are some cables connecting your modern with outside devices. Those outside devices connect the OLT (What is OLT? You can read this article: What’s the OLT/Optical Line Terminal?). Then, OLT connect the core data center which connects the Internet. In short, Access Network help you surf on the Internet at home, office or other places.

After we knew the Access Network, I am going to introduce the PON in the Access Network.

What is the PON?

PON (Passive Optical Network) is a typical passive optical fiber network. It means that (in the optical distribution network) does not contain any electronic devices and electronic power supplies. The ODNs are all composed of passive components such as optical splitters, and do not need to be expensive. A passive optical network consists of an Optical Line Terminal (OLT) installed at the central control station and a set of associated Optical Network Units (ONUs) installed at the customer premises.

FTTx solution

How many main types of the PON?

PON can provide three types these years: EPON, GPON and 10G-PON.

EPON (Ethernet Passive Optical Network) is the rival activity to GPON which uses Ethernet packets instead of ATM cells.

EPON uses 1 gigabit per second upstream and downstream rates. It is a fast Ethernet over PONs which are point to multipoint to the premises (FTTP) or FTTH architecture in which single optical fiber is used to serve multiple premises or users.

EPON is an emerging broadband access technology, through a single fiber-optic access system, to access the data, voice and video service, and it has a good economy.


GPON (Gigabit Passive Optical Network) is based on the TU-TG.984.x standard for the new generations of broadband passive optical access.

GPON provides the unprecedented high bandwidth downlink rate of up to 2.5 Gbit/s, the asymmetric features better adapt to the broadband data services market.

GPON provides the QoS full business protection, at the same time carries ATM cells and (or) GEM frame, the good service level, the ability to support QoS assurance and service access.

GPON also provides Access Network Level Protection Mechanism and full OAM functions.

GPON is widely deployed in FTTH networks. It can develop into two directions which is 10 GPON and WDM-PON.


10G-PON (also known as XG-PON) is a 2010 computer networking standard for data links, capable of delivering shared Internet access rates up to 10 Gbit/s (gigabits per second) over existing dark fiber. This is the ITU-T’s next generation standard following on from G-PON or Gigabit-capable PON.

With the recent development of online on-demand, online education, IPTV and interactive games, especially 4K video, virtual reality and other services, people’s demand for bandwidth continues to grow, and the original 100M/200M access bandwidth can’t be satisfied. The broadband industry is entering the Gigabit era as the business needs of users. The original GPON/EPON access can not meet the user’s business needs. The 10G PON technology has gradually become the mainstream technology of the PON network. The major operators at home and abroad are facing the pressure and challenge of upgrading the 10G PON network.

EPON vs. GPON vs. 10G-PON

Usable Bandwidth Downstream: 1.25 Gbit/s or 2.5 Gbit/s,

Upstream: 155 Mbit/s – 2.5 Gbit/s

1-Gbit/s symmetrical bandwidth 10Gbit/s
Reach 128 ONUs 32 ONUs per OLT,

or 64  FEC

128 users per PON, or more using reach extenders/amplifiers
Per-subscriber costs Higher Lower Highest
Support for CATV Overlay Yes Yes Yes
Popular Area U.S. Asia and Europe. The area is developing.
Widely deployed in FTTx FTTH FTTP or FTTH It’s developing.

PON technology is an important way to carry over broadband access network services. With the development and popularization of high-traffic and high-bandwidth services such as 4K video and virtual reality, 10G PON has become the trend of the times instead of GPON/EPON.

Leave your comments if you have different ideas!

Learn More:

What is GPON?

What’s the OLT/Optical Line Terminal?


Sources: 10G-PON – Wikipedia

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