31 Oct

Telecommunication companies, when delivering high-speed internet to consumers, have various technologies to choose from. Active Ethernet networks and GPON are among the most advanced telecommunication technologies available in the market today. Depending on the kind of business you are involved in, sooner or later, you will have to make a choice of which fiber package to use between Active Ethernet and GPON. Active Ethernet network ensures that every subscriber is provided with their own fiber link, while GPON network connects its subscribers to the internet using passive optical splitters. But first, you need to understand and compare the two before you make a choice.

What is an Active Ethernet Network?

Active Ethernet is a networking system where every subscriber is provided with their own fiber link to connect to the network node switch that links local networks to the internet. Active Ethernet ensures that subscribers have higher bandwidth since they are directly linked to the network node. As a result, capabilities such as higher Vlan awareness, quality of service, security features, Multicast, and loop prevention are to be expected while using Active Ethernet. The benefits of this networking system include: 

  • Privacy: With Active Ethernet, your fiber link is not shared with anyone
  • Security: Active Ethernet is more secure since you possess your own fiber link
  • High Speed: Ethernet connections offer greater speeds compared to wireless connections.
  • Reliability: Since there are no radio frequency interruptions, Active Ethernet connections reign supreme when compared to other internet connections.

What is GPON Network?

GPON, which stands for Gigabyte Passive Optical Network, is a network system that delivers information from the internet while relying on optical cables. It is currently the best form of internet networking in terms of energy efficiency with a single fiber ratio of 1:64. GPON is 95% more energy efficient compared to copper wire cables and provides low-cost solutions since it adds users via splitters. It is thus more desirable in densely populated areas. A time-division multiple access (TDMA) format is used in GPON to allocate bandwidth to each Optical Network Unit (ONU). A downstream bandwidth rate of 2.488 Gbits/s is allocated by the service provider. However, depending on the service provider, the bandwidth rate may vary. The upstream bandwidth, however, receives less than maximum rates because it is shared with another ONUs. A time and distance delay for every subscriber is determined when the ONUs communicate with the Optical Line Terminal (OLT).

How GPON Works

A GPON network can transmit time-division multiplexing (TDM), Ethernet, and ATM traffic. The GPON network is made up of OLT, ONU, and a splitter. 

  • A splitter divides the signal when needed.
  • The OLT takes in all the optical signals which come in the form of beams of light from the ONUs.
  • It then converts them into an electrical signal. An OLT generally supports 72 ports.
  • ONU then connects the end users and sends their signals back to the OLT.

GPON networks can cover an area of up to 20 kilometers and can support up to 64 end users. GPON utilizes both downstream and upstream data by optical wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) means.

How do Active Ethernet and GPON Compare?

Active Ethernet connects your premises to the internet directly through a single optical line. As a result, you enjoy the full connection bandwidth. This, however, comes at a higher cost than a GPON connection. However, for businesses that require high-bandwidth internet, the cost may not be a deterrent, since the speed and reliability are unmatched. GPON offers a point-to-multi-point fiber deployment solution. Thus, a single optical line can connect multiple clients. A client’s fiber network terminal is automatically allocated by the network hardware configuration. Due to a single line use for multiple clients in this configuration, GPON fiber package connectivity is cheaper. But on the flip side, the bandwidth is not stable since it is shared with other clients.