BEREC report on the New Forms of Sharing Passive Optical Networks Based on Wavelength Division Multiplexing
New forms of sharing passive optical networks (PON) have become possible, in particular with the adoption of the new PON standard NG-PON2 (G.989.2), which was approved by the ITU in December 2014. NG-PON2 uses several wavelengths per direction over the same PON fibre infrastructure to serve multiple end-users. This raises the opportunity that several network operators share the same PON fibre infrastructure and each deploys its own NG-PON2 equipment and uses different wavelengths. Examples of how this new form of sharing PON might be used are:
(i) Two or more operators co-invest in PON fibre infrastructure and each deploys its own NG-PON2 equipment and uses different wavelengths to serve customers.
(ii) SMP operator invests in and deploys NG-PON2 and is obliged by regulation to offer wavelengths, i.e. wavelength unbundling (WU)
(iii) Single (potentially, but not necessarily SMP) operator invests in PON fibre infrastructure and deploys NG-PON2 and offers access to wavelengths on a commercial wholesale basis.
In principle, WU is also possible without deployment of NG-PON2, however, the possibilities are reduced compared to those in case of NG-PON2. In 24 (80%) of 30 European countries examined in this report, the SMP operator has a FTTH network based on PON and therefore NRAs may consider whether or not to impose WU on the SMP operator. In order to get a deeper insight in this new form of sharing PON based on wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) and to foster the knowledge transfer between NRAs, this report has the following three objectives:to provide an overview of the current and expected future deployment of NG-PON2 based on information from 50 European network operators and three major vendors;to analyse whether WU was imposed in any of the 14 EU countries in which NRAs took a decision on Market 3a since the standardisation of NG-PON2 and to discuss aspects which may be useful to take into account when an NRA considers whether or not to impose on the SMP operator WU;to explore whether WU based on NG-PON2 might increase the interest of network operators to co-invest in PON also based on information of 50 European network operators. The analysis is descriptive and does not aim to be normative or to recommend best practice.