The PON technologies adopted for FTTH application vary depending mainly on the market. BPON is mainstream in North America, for instance, while EPON is widely supported in Asia. Data from Taiwan’s MIC reveal that global PON market is taken up 60 percent by EPON, 30 percent by BPON, and 10 percent by GPON. MIC estimated that in the next two or three years, 40 percent of worldwide PON technology will be dominated by EPON, 20 percent by BPON, and 40 percent taken by GPON. Players in Taiwan see an upgrade to GEPON technology, as GPON slowly broadens its market footprint.
The cost of constructing an FTTH platform varies based on the geographic environment and brand of equipment used. According to Taiwan’s CHT, a residential FTTH construction can cost about $920 per household, broken down into 48.5 percent construction and labor, 14 percent passive equipment, 30.5 percent active equipment and 7 percent cables and fiber optics.
In South Korea, the competition among EPON, GPON and WDM-PON remains heated, although EPON is mainstream. Hanaro Telecom supports GPON.
South Korea’s homegrown WDM-PON receives support from companies such as S-Infotech Co. Ltd, which specializes in WDM-PON. The cost of WDM-PON is almost doubled that of EPON and GPON, but WDM-PON is claimed to offer wider bandwidth, QoS and higher security. It can also support several protocols.
With WDM-PON yet to enter the global market, S-Infotech is focusing on the domestic South Korea market, but expects WDM-PON to gain traction as triple-play services come to the fore. South Korea’s new laws for IPTV services are also expected to help open the WDM-PON market. The near-future shift to realtime multimedia streaming from the current download and play business model for IPTV services offered by companies such as KT will require new equipment that supports more bandwidth. This, in turn, could drive demand for WDM-PON players.