Redefining BAU (Business as Usual)

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Passive Optical Local Area Networks Can Help

Businesses today are facing disruptive changes and challenges in their Local Area Networks (LANs) that are caused by the extensive use of the Internet. Hefty bandwidth demands arise from increasing enterprise-based applications and video content, integration of voice services over the networks and transition from wired networks to wireless LANs.

In a world increasingly defined by faster data speed and more capacity, what was once considered to be “business as usual” is no longer usual. Today’s businesses, governments, hospitals, hotels, sports centers, and shopping malls, must be able to keep pace with the evolving demands and expectations of network users.

Having the right LAN in place, one that can support increasing demand for gigabit services, is simple to upgrade, is easy to manage, and is cost-efficient to run, may determine an organization’s competitive edge or even its survival in the business world.

Current and future networks must also be able to support the growing number of next-generation applications that are critical to how we work, travel, and live, in today’s digital economy.

With an expediential number of applications, services, and users being added to the network every day, current copper LANs are quickly running out of available bandwidth, buckling under the pressures being placed on them. This creates a significant challenge for those who have traditionally relied on the copper-based LANs over the past 30 years to meet their needs. To effectively support the growing demands being placed on the network today requires replacing all cables and switches — an expensive, complex, and often short-term, fix as the need for more data continues.

Fortunately, there is an optimal alternative network solution that runs on optical technology. It is well-known that optical fiber has virtually unlimited data capacity, and enables future-proof infrastructure capable of supporting a cost-efficient, reliable, and secure network that comes with far better performance. The network solution is called Passive Optical LAN (POL), and it is rapidly becoming the preferred option among hospitality, enterprise, real-estate development, and public sectors, seeking to upgrade their current copper LANs.

Some of the key benefits of POL that are attracting these segments to the technology include:

CAPACITY — Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) delivers 2.5 Gbps downstream and 1.25 Gbps upstream enabling the convergence of separate networks into a single network infrastructure to deliver gigabit speeds to every user.

COST — POL is cheaper to install and run than traditional Ethernet LAN. It can also help to substantially lower operational costs in power consumption, which makes POL an ideal “green” alternative.

SECURITY — GPON provides military-grade security and carrier-grade reliability.

LONGEVITY — Fiber is future-proof, robust, and scalable, and is designed to have value for 50+ years.

FLEXIBILITY — Fiber can be deployed anywhere, and has a much smaller bending radius than copper cabling. It is also immune to environmental interferences such as electromagnetic and noise interference.

SIMPLICITY — GPON is a mature technology that is designed for simplicity and efficiency.

In addition to these benefits, POL can provide 200 times longer coverage from a single central location than copper-based LAN, eliminating the need for equipment closets on each floor or at every 100 meters. This also makes it easier to extend services to additional sites or floors.

There is significant interest and traction for POL across several industries including hotels, hospitals, universities, and businesses of all sizes.

For instance, POL is a good solution for hospitals where electromagnetic disturbance resulting from copper networks can be an issue. It can also provide hospitals with the data capacity they need to support a growing database of digital medical records, new video and imaging technology, along with the advancements in patient monitoring and security systems.

In hotels, POL has been know to reduce the number of server rooms required which, in some instances,
have gone from 16 to 1, effectively helping to free up significant floor space, and reduce the complexity and man hours that often come with managing multiple server rooms.

POL technology is becoming a network of choice for customers because it can effectively reduce capital and operating costs. No one wants to spend money on the past. Built on a proven fiber technology (GPON) that has served as the backbone of the telecommunication market for over a decade, POL is one of the most energy-efficient, cost-effective, and flexible, network options available today.

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About Author

Ana Pesovic is Marketing Director, Fixed Networks, at Nokia. She has more than 20 years of experience in fiber access technologies. For more information, please email ana.pesovic@nokia.com or visit Nokia 25G PON at https://www.nokia.com/networks/solutions/25gpon/. Follow Nokia on Twitter @nokianetworks. Follow Ana on Twitter @AnaPesovic.

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