Huawei Launches GPON Solution in South Africa

Huawei has launched a Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) solution for the first time in South Africa.

The demand for ubiquitous broadband has increased globally as the Internet becomes ever more prevalent in modern life. The GPON solution is the answer to a multitude of connection needs, bringing optical fibre to every home in response to demands for greater bandwidth.

A passive optical network (PON) is a system that brings optical fibre cabling and signals all or most of the way to the end user. GPON is the type of PON most widely deployed in today's fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) networks in new installations and is considered suitable for consumer broadband services for the next five to 10 years. 

GPON offers increased bandwidth capabilities as well as triple-play services (Internet access, voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), and digital TV) on a single fibre optic line to the home or office. A standard GPON fibre line can be split to support 128 users and can reach distances of up to 20km, connecting directly to residential households and office premises. Copper infrastructure can only reach up to 100m at a time, supports low bandwidth and is susceptible to interference.

GPON was developed by the ITU-T (The Telecommunication Standardization Sector of the International Telecommunications Union) to be an industry-wide interoperable standard. This means that it can operate with equipment from different vendors, thus allowing for compatibility with networks which are already deployed. It allows service providers to add to existing networks, instead of replacing the entire infrastructure.

This factor is important for driving down equipment costs and enables service providers to deliver GPON services profitably to their subscribers.

“GPON will enhance network enablement as it allows users to access more services and allow service providers to offer more services to the users. It is one of the simplest infrastructures within the industry to manage and maintain, as it consists of a single shared optical fibre that can support multiple users through the use of inexpensive passive optical splitters. Since there is no active equipment in the network, it does not get affected by electromagnetic interference or lightning,” says Terrance Sema, access network Solutions Executive of Huawei Carrier Business Group for the Eastern and Southern Africa region.

“GPON will bring about revolutionary changes to the broadband environment in South Africa. As more and more consumers gain direct access to triple-play services in their homes, it will drive the demand of internet as a utility-based resource” says Peter Geldenhuys, Futurist and Extra-ordinary Lecturer in Technology Strategy of North-West University.

“Simultaneously, GPON will create massive shifts in business models in the digital industry. Information push strategies will change dramatically as companies integrate and tailor opportunities to adapt,” concludes Geldenhuys.


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