Alcatel gets closer to the user

Alcatel SA Tuesday announced the 7340 line of optical gear for bringing fibre directly to homes and businesses.

The equipment, called 7340 Packet Optical Line Terminal (P-OLT), 7340 Video Optical Line Terminal (V-OLT) and 7340 Home Optical Network Terminal (H-ONT), is said to deliver data services at speeds up to 20M bit/sec over fibre.

Alcatel says its new product is targeted at service providers looking to deploy fibre in newly built residential communities or as overlay networks to Alcatel's digital subscriber line and digital loop carrier gear.

The P-OLT and V-OLT sit in the switching office of a service provider. The P-OLT is an optical access multiplexer that takes traffic from the core of a provider's network and breaks it down into customer streams.

V-OLT splits the optical signal and sends it down fibres to customer sites using passive optical networking (PON). PON uses passive filters, rather than electronics, to split optical signals among many customers.

A fully loaded P-OLT can support 1,100 customers.

H-ONT sits at a customer site, either inside or outside the building, and can be configured to give customers access to their half of the device and providers access to theirs, serving as a service demarcation point.

All of the 7340 gear is ANSI-compliant and is based on the ITU-T Broadband Access PON (BPON) standard. BPON uses both optical wavelength division multiplexing and some packet protocols to provide access.

Alcatel says the equipment is in trials with providers now and will be generally available in July. Alcatel says it costs between US$1,200 and $1,800 per subscriber.

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