Networking giant Alcatel-Lucent is opening up details of its optical management and control interfaces (OMCIs) in a bid to help create a true multi-vendor gigabit passive optical networking (GPON) infrastructure.
Announced at this year's Broadband World Forum Europe in Paris, the first version of the OMCI Interoperability Implementer's Guide is aimed at helping other optical network terminal vendors integrate their hardware with Alcatel-Lucent's.
"Alcatel-Lucent is taking a bold step by being the first GPON player to share its OMCI specifications with other vendors. Our goal is to encourage the adoption of fibre-to-the-home by breaking down interoperability barriers," said Dave Geary, president of wireline network activities at Alcatel-Lucent.
"Alcatel-Lucent will shortly be publishing its OMCI Version-1, and is even prepared to go a step further by making its full OMCI available to partners on a case-by-case basis."
Fibre is increasingly used by providers to cope with high-bandwidth online applications for businesses and consumers, and the need for greater interoperability between providers is vital to ensure competition and compatibility.
Alcatel-Lucent is involved in nearly 100 fibre-to-the-home projects worldwide, over 80 of which are with GPON. The technology is also being implemented by several utility companies and municipalities around the world.
The company is also demonstrating the use of GPON as a high-speed backhaul for Long Term Evolution mobile data access deployments.
"We want to put a particular focus on 10G GPON's co-existence with its 2.5G predecessor," explained Philippe Keryer, president of Alcatel-Lucent's carrier activities.
"After all, approximately 60 to 70 per cent of a PON investment relates to the service provider's outside plant, so it is extremely important that the evolution to 10G GPON does not jeopardise today's investments."
However, the 10G GPON standards are still being ratified, and analysts believe that this could create problems for Alcatel-Lucent if the standards are significantly altered before being set in stone.
"Proving that 10G GPON is a viable upgrade path from today's 2.5G deployments, and demonstrating its ability to function in mixed GPON environments, eliminates two key long-term concerns for operators," said Jeff Heynen, directing analyst of broadband and video at Infonetics Research.
"They don't want to strand their initial GPON investment, nor do they want to cut over existing subscribers when they don't have to."
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