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XGS-PON: Paving the Way to Deliver Higher Bandwidth Capabilities to Subscribers


XGS-PON is an ultra-fast fiber optic access technology that provides the bandwidth and reliability required to deliver high-quality video streaming, gaming, and cloud services. Providing seamless connectivity, high-speed download and upload speeds through symmetrical bandwidth, and reduced latency, XGS-PON delivers unmatched capabilities for residential users seeking uninterrupted UHD 8K video streaming or graphics-intensive gaming, Augmented Reality (AR)/Virtual Reality (VR) experiences and IoT. Businesses requiring flawless video conferences, large data transfers, and cloud-based services can now rely on XGS-PON for competitive, reliable connectivity. XGS-PON has also provided fiber services in rural markets for 5G backhaul helping optimize CAPEX via a single platform for both wireline and wireless.


What is XGS-PON?

Passive Optical Technology or “PON”, was originally conceived in the mid-1990s by the Full-Service Access Network (FSAN) group, and in 2001, 1G PON or GPON was formally approved as a standard by the ITU-T via G.984.   GPON was quickly proven across the networking industry as a success, providing far higher speeds than copper over a far longer distance. Video and data were now delivered without issues while voice was provided the highest priority services. Yet bandwidth demands were rapidly increasing for nearly all network operators and 1Gb/s would be limited in its ability to support customer demands in the next 7 – 10 years.   By 2010, the ITU-T introduced XGS-PON, G. 9807.1, which was formally approved in 2016 for industry production. While XG-PON was also introduced in 2010, most of the networking industry chose XGS-PON as it provided symmetrical 10Gb/s upstream and downstream. XG-PON also offered 10Gb/s downstream but was limited to 2.5Gb/s upstream since it is a non-symmetrical technology.

XGS-PON, when compared with first-generation PON – EPON and GPON – along with 10G EPON have continued to deliver faster speeds and a mature, yet evolving, set of OAM&P capabilities:

And, as described in Zyxel’s December 5, 2022, blog, OMCI is the standard management, configuration, and security protocol used by both GPON and today’s XGS-PON technologies.

OMCI: The Key to PON Functionality…and Open Standards
The ITU-T OMCI standard is a messaging format and management “mechanism” used by the OLT (Optical Line Terminal) to perform multiple functions with the end-user’s CPE or ONT (Optical Network Terminal) deployed throughout a carrier’s network.  The OMCI protocol messages are transported over fiber via the OMCC (ONU Management and Control Channel) and are encapsulated in the OMCI’s GEM (GPON Encapsulation Method) frame.  The OMCI provides multiple key management functions within a GPON or XGS-PON deployment to include:
•    Configuration
•    Fault management
•    Performance management
•    Security management

XGS-PON also supports an optical splitter ratio of 1:256, double GPON’s 1:128, doubling the number of customers supported per port and improving the ROI for the operator’s PON network.

 Zyxel’s XGS-PON ONTs fully support ITU-T G.988 OMCI standard allowing interoperability with OLTs that also adhere to G.988 requirements.  Where needed, Zyxel has also implemented non-standard MEs (Managed Entity) in partnership with operators and OLT suppliers to ensure full compliance with network deployment standards. 

In North America, Tier 1 deployment of XGS-PON access networks is nearly 100% with Tier 2 and 3 operators quickly upgrading their copper and GPON technologies to higher bandwidth services.  While 25GS-PON has already begun trials or deployments in many networks, XGS-PON is expected to continue to grow and remain a standard for many years.  Why?

25GS-PON + XGS-PON: Coexisting for the Future
The 25GS-PON MSA (Multi-Source Agreement, which is comprised of multiple industry operators and vendors) during the creation of this new technology standard recognized that stand-alone PON technologies, whether legacy GPON or new XGS-PON networks, would need a path to a single solution instead of three separate access networks (GPON, XGS-PON, and 25GS-PON).  Because of this, the 25GS-PON team developed standards allowing XGS-PON (and/or GPON) to “coexist” within the 25GS-PON bandwidth (  This will allow operators the option to continue to leverage lower-cost yet bandwidth-rich XGS-PON technologies while optimizing 25GS-PON for more efficient access solutions including Mobility on the same fiber networks. 

Key features of XGS-PON 

  1. High-speed connectivity - allowing users to stream high-definition videos and engage in online gaming without any lag or buffering.
  2. Reliability – High-speed fiber connections are not impacted by external issues such as the deterioration of the copper plant, limited signal range, and susceptibility to interference which still affects legacy technologies.
  3. Future-Proof Speeds - 10 Gb/s symmetrical speeds will support both residential as well as SMB high-speed services for the next nine to ten years, possibly more.
  4. With 25GS-PON, the life of XGS-PON is actually extended as the technology can coexist on the new access network further improving the ROI and optimizing CAPEX.

Zyxel’s PM7516/PM7510-R0 Series XGS-PON Bridge ONT with 10G LAN supports symmetric 10G:10G services. This provides service providers the ability to upgrade existing GPON networks to XGS-PON with minimal CAPEX investment.

 Zxyel’s XGS-PON ONTs also support ITU-T G.988 OMCI standard supporting "plug and play" in networks using this protocol as defined by the industry. And, because the Zyxel PM7510 and -7516 ONTs are both Bridges, the 10Gb/s LAN port provides the option of a using variety of Router solutions such as upgrading from a WiFi 6 to -6E Router without the cost of replacing an entire Fiber Gateway.  This reduces CAPEX with a predicted lower-cost PMO within two upgrades.  And for troubleshooting, since issues with WiFi service are reported as the primary reason for truck rolls operators can more quickly isolate customer issues.  Finally, this provides end-users the ability to “BYOD” (Bring Your Own Device) and build their own home network.

Embrace a cutting-edge solution that adapts to evolving demands and positions you at the forefront of technological advancements. Don't miss out on the next generation of connectivity – seize the opportunity to be part of the future, today!

To hear more about the key features and benefits of what XGS-PON has to offer, attend the Zyxel free webinar with UTC (Utilities Technology Council) on Nov. 30, Thursday at 1:00 am PST. Register now

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