SIEPON a leap forward in FTTx standards

Julie Kunstler/Ovum
09 Mar 2011

SIEPON (Service

Interoperability in EPON) Working Group

SIEPON signals the next major step in standardization for FTTx deployments. Simply stated, it is a broad-based international user group. SIEPON enables FTTx wannabe carriers to co-opt the testing, deployment, and maintenance protocols of those carriers that have expended vast people and equipment resources refining those protocols.

For carriers with existing FTTx networks, SIEPON motivates equipment vendors to ensure interoperability across all areas, from simple equipment mix-and-match to advanced applications.

SIEPON is an unusual standards-working group for the IEEE. Rather than focusing on technical solutions, it focuses on the sharing and reutilization of best practices in networks supporting more than 40 million EPON-based FTTx subscribers.

SIEPON participants include carriers (including China Telecom, NTT, KDDI, KT, and China Mobile), equipment vendors (including Huawei, ZTE, Fiberhome, Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Mitsubishi, Sumitomo, Fujitsu, Hitachi, and OKI), and chip vendors (including Broadcom, PMC, Cortina, and Marvell.)

It is unusual for major carriers such as China Telecom and NTT to share their specifications, test protocols, and findings. This sharing will, however, enable them to influence the vendors’ offerings, in essence creating a worldwide standard for service interoperability with conformance testing and a planned certification program.

Carriers entering FTTx testing and initial deployment phases can benefit from the experience of NTT and China Telecom and take advantage of vendor compliance certification. Both sets of carriers can influence the vendors, creating an international standard and compliance program that should lead to lower cost equipment for all.

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