Verizon Sets NG-PON2 Lab Tests

Setting its sights on a next-gen FTTP platform that can deliver 10 Gbps to the home, Verizon said it has tapped two vendors as it kicks off testing of NG-PON2 technology at its Innovation Lab in Waltham, Mass.

Later this month, Verizon will start to test equipment from Ericsson (in partnership with Calix) and Adtran. The tests will focus on NG-PON2 features such as tuning performance, the ability to carry residential and business services on the same platform, and interoperability and conformance tests against Verizon ONT specs.

The coming lab trials follow Verizon’s tests of NG-PON2 conducted in 2015 and the issuance of an RFP, holding then that the next-gen platform could “easily provide” symmetrical speeds of 10  Gbps to homes and business locations. 

Verizon noted that NG-PON2 supports up to 40-Gig of total capacity and up to 10 Gbps per customer, both up and down, on a single fiber.  Verizon said it plans to deploy NG-PON2 initially for business services in 2017, and then follow with residential rollouts “as the technology matures and the market demands.” The ITU-T approved NG-PON2 specs last year.

Verizon’s current high-end residential tier for Fios delivers 500 Mbps up and downstream; the telco has not announced when it might bump speeds up to 1-Gig to match up with the speeds being offered by AT&T (via GigaPower), Google Fiber, and various MSOs that are using DOCSIS 3.0 to offer downstream burst speeds approaching 1-Gig.

Verizon is also moving ahead with NG-PON2 as it braces for DOCSIS 3.1, a next-gen HFC platform that is capable of delivering multi-gigabit speeds. While the initial D3.1 specs envisioned capcities of 10-Gig down and at least 1-Gig up, a “full-duplex” flavor of D3.1 that can support high-capacity symmetrical speeds is under development at CableLabs.

Among MSOs, Comcast has kicked off advanced consumer trials of DOCSIS 3.1 in two markets – Atlanta and Nashville – and plans to expand the platform to three more markets (Chicago, Miami and Detroit) later this year.