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EPON Remains the Leading FTTH Technology, But for How Long?

| June 29, 2011 | Fixed Access Infrastructure
| Analyst: Erik Keith, Principal Analyst, Fixed Access Infrastructure

Click here to download report (100 KB PDF)

At present, EPON is the dominant FTTH technology worldwide, with the largest installed base, and based on recent market data points, still the leader in terms of both revenue and port shipments. This is due to government mandates and operator initiatives in Japan and South Korea, which drove the countries to become pioneers in fiber access, with both committing early to EPON as the preferred FTTH technology. More recently, EPON has become the dominant fiber access technology in China, and with the evolution of EPON to Gigabit EPON (GEPON) and now 10G EPON, the IEEE-developed EPON standard looks poised to maintain its position as the leading FTTH “flavor” in the coming years, especially in the important Asia-Pacific market.

Despite EPON’s position as the dominant FTTH technology in one of the most important countries (China) and regions (APAC) in the world, there are several trends that point toward EPON being surpassed by GPON (and its successor technology, 10G GPON) as operators in all regions move forward with their respective network upgrades and transitions. What is interesting is that the trend toward GPON over EPON effectively has roots in EPON’s largest market (again, China). Why is this occurring? What are the key factors that are prompting operators in China to move toward GPON? Finally, what are the prospects for EPON vendors in the North American cable operator market? Will EPON be the savior technology for cable operators, or will the HFC plant remain viable over a longer period?


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