GPON Technology: Reasons why professionals choose fiber optics


GPON stands for Gigabit-capable Passive Optic Network. This means it is a technology which lets us create gigabit passive fiber optic networks. Here, the important term is “Passive”, since unlike an Ethernet network that, for the distribution in the trunk or even horizontal networks requires a switch or switches powered by electricity, the GPON network does not require electricity to distribute the signal when using a splitter or optical splitters with a point-to-multipoint architecture.

As its name suggests, it is a network capable of offering Gigabit transmission and reception speeds (or even with XGPON, 10 Gigabit) all through a single fiber optic cable, which allows access to Triple Play services (Video, voice and data):

  • Voice IP (VoIP)
  • TV IP (IPTV)
  • TV in RF Overlay (terrestrial television)
  • LAN (Data / Internet)
  • WIFI
  • On-line gaming
  • Smart homes
  • Video Surveillance
  • Video Door/Gate systems
  • Sensorization



  • Speed: 2.4 Gbps (downstream) / 1.2 Gbps (upstream), scalable to XGPON.
  • Maximum distance (logical): 60 km
  • Maximum distance (physical): 20 km
  • Intrinsic network security at the protocol level, 128-bit AES encryption.
  • Does not need active equipment along the whole extension of the external plant of the network.
  • Ease of installation and low maintenance cost
  • Higher quality anbd stability in transmission
  • Physical media (fiber) immune to external interference
  • Fusion topologies, connectorized and preconnected


Although it may not seem like it, GPON technology is more common than we imagine. Nowadays, when we request the installation of fiber optics for Internet access in our homes, we are actually using GPON technology with an FTTH (Fiber To The Home) scheme. The fiber optic arrives to the home, a PTRO (Optical Network Terminal Point) is installed and behind it an ONT (Optical Network Terminal) which is in charge of modulating/demodulating the light into an electrical signal and from here to our router and our network Traditional LAN.

At a professional level, in sectors such as hotels or large offices, the FTTO (Fiber To The Outlet/Office) scheme is increasingly used. That is, instead of deploying a structured wiring for each video (television), voice (telephone), and data (internet or LAN) service, with three (or more) seperate lines, only one line is deployed with a fiber optic cable throughout the building, and at each work zone or terminal point, an ONT is installed that allows us to access Triple Play services.

Structure of the GPON network

In the central rack or equipment room of the building or office, the ISP installs the optical fiber that will provide us access to the internet to a PTRO or external entrance of F.O., and from there to our OLT (Optical Line Termination). Finally, the optical fiber will be taken to each of the NTOs in the areas to provide service.

The network between the OLT and the ONT is known as an ODN (Optical Distribution Network). This distribution is made with fiber optic cables, usually monomode, and is divided by passive optical splitters.

Finally, the connection of the different equipment (computers, cameras, televisions, telephones, etc.) to the ONT is done through the traditional copper twisted pair cable (eg. STP Cat. 6) or even analogue telephony (POTS) or video (CATV)


  • Cost savings: Savings of up to 35% of the investments derived from infrastructure, pipelines, installation labor, (CAPEX) and in the maintenance sections (OPEX).
  • Bandwidth: Expandable to future XGPON, elimination of bottlenecks. Higher transmission speed, fewer materials, and less attenuation loss due to distance to origin.
  • Energy savings and elimination of failure points: Contribution to energy savings by having no repetition points through Switch. The distribution elements are passive. GREEN BUILDING.
  • Infrastructure: decrease in channels, spaces, distributors, savings in technical rooms. The fiber optic cables are impervious to electromagnetic interference (EMI).
    Copper wires, if not properly installed, will produce electromagnetic currents that can interfere with other wires and wreak havoc on a network. Fiber optic cables, unlike copper cables, do not conduct electricity.

    • The ONTs are installed in false ceilings inside rooms, and can even be equipped with WIFi or not, according to project requirements, using the Ethernet-POE outputs for possible installation of APs from different manufacturers.
    • Installation from the location of the different ONTs of the pipeline infrastructure for the different services.
      • Coaxial cable TV
      • UTP cable Ethernet outlet
      • UTP cable telephone outlet.


Source: Density Networks

Author: Francesc Giné

Date: 21/5/2018

Images: Various sources