Allied Telesis speeds gigabit growth with new EtherWAVE system

When it comes to Internet service, the only thing faster than gigabit is the growth in the demand for it. But a new system from Allied Telesis could soon help service providers guarantee fast service to more people -- especially people who live in apartments and other dense housing complexes.

Council Lead Partner Allied Telesis introduced its new EtherWAVE system that will help Internet service providers offer more people faster service without laying more wires or replacing significant infrastructure. It showed off the system recently at the Big Telecom Event in London.

Why is a new system needed?
In some ways, service providers are constrained by a system that’s worked fine for years. Passive optical networks split the feed from a fiber line to many customers. As with anything that’s shared, people can’t be guaranteed full use of it. Customers essentially take turns using it, although the switching happens so fast it seems like everyone has their own connection.

That wasn’t an issue as fiber was being rolled out, but now as more people want full gigabit, it is. If many people share one line, they may no longer be guaranteed gigabit service. Providers who are already trying to reach new neighborhoods don’t have the resources to rewire places they’ve already upgraded.

What EtherWAVE does
The EtherWAVE system allows providers to upgrade the service they provide in neighborhoods that already have fiber. It uses tunable lasers and waveguide technology to split the signals through the line, offering everyone their own dedicated gigabit connection.

While that concept, known as a WDM-PON upgrade, has existed for a few years, it has been prohibitively costly. Allied Telesis’s EtherWAVE brings the cost down to a level similar to an active Ethernet deployment, making it the first industry solution to bring new life to the existing architecture.

Allied Telesis says customers reached through EtherWAVE can be guaranteed two gigabit streams and that’s expandable to 10. As smart cities and the Internet of Things evolve, more of that speed will be needed.

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