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North American PON Projections – Robust & Competitive

Omdia’s PON projections for the next five years are very strong, with phenomenal growth occurring in North America. PON’s attractiveness to carriers for its simplicity of installation, long-term technology growth path, and sustainability is bringing new equipment manufacturers into the market, which should further drive the price of PON installations down.

“The US is catching up with fiber-to-the-home [and] fiber-to-the-premise deployments,” said Julie Kunstler, Chief Analyst, Broadband Access Intelligence Service, Omdia – Informa Tech. “Canada is a few years ahead of the U.S. and China remains strong. Could this forecast be even stronger? I think it could be in the later years, but it would require more labor and the right place and the right time. No more supply chain issues, smooth approvals and permits, and the timely application of government funds or private capital when needed, and the large cable operators would have to adopt PON faster.”

In North America, 10G PON in the form of XGS-PON is now the dominant standard for deployments, with the cost of XGS-PON deployment enabling significantly high speeds at a lesser cost per GBPs than GPON. The higher speed availability and lower cost helps with competitive positioning in major markets as well as its use beyond residential applications to enterprise services, transport, and Smart City applications.

XGS-PON’s competitive cost when compared to GPON enables carriers to install customers in a “one and done” fashion. “Whether you offer multi-gig tariffs or not, 10G PON enables you to offer higher speeds in the future without having to touch that customer’s home again,” said Kunstler. “You really save on truck roll costs in the future. We’re seeing a number of both large and small US operators take this approach.”

“The cost and ease of installation for PON is bringing new manufacturers into the market,” said Kunstler on closing the current gap between access and metro networks, particularly in North America.  Transport focused companies such as Ciena and Juniper Networks can now offer edge services through a simple card drop-in. “You can add PON to switching and routing equipment, whether they’re focused on the cable operator market, for example, adding PON to digital nodes that are in the field, whether they’re looking at it from a disaggregated perspective is disaggregated Open Access perspective. We’re seeing a much wider range now and many more vendors and I’ve seen some operators go with the newer vendors in the PON space.”

To learn more about the attractiveness of PON to service providers and vendors, tune into the latest Fiber for Breakfast podcast.