GPON – Gigabit Passive Optical Networking For Enterprise

This technology allows extended Ethernet connectivity over fibre-optic cabling infrastructure over distances up to 40Kms.


GPON technology is primarily designed to provide Point-to-Multipoint connections with line rates up to 2.5Gbps in the downstream direction and 1.25Gbps in the upstream to both commercial and residential Customers.

Passive Optical Splitters

The fibre-optic cabling infrastructure for GPON systems includes Passive Optical Splitters which enable single fibre-optic cables to ‘fan-out’ to multiple fibre-optic cables by ‘splitting’ the available GPON light spectra.

GPON Splitters are available in 1×2, 1×4, 1×8, 1×16, 1×32 and 1×64 formats, offering up to 64 splits from a single fibre-optic ‘uplink’.

GPON Splitters can also have multiple uplinks for redundancy e.g. 2×32

Daisy Chaining

GPON splitters can also be ‘daisy-chained’ to expand the fibre-optic line plant even further if so required. Note; Light power budgets (db) need to be calculated to determine how many GPON Splitters in total can be added in series.

Typical applications

Due to the cost-effective nature of enabling a single fibre-optic ‘backhaul’ to serve multiple remote locations via Passive (i.e. equipment not requiring electrical power) GPON Splitters, this technology is extremely popular with Service Providers when providing FTTH (Fibre-To-The-Home) solutions and is the next stage of Ultrafast Broadband provision after FTTC/VDSL2 solutions.

A GPON solution

So what does a GPON solution consist of, it starts at the GPON head-end unit, known as the OLT (Optical Line Terminal) which connects to the fibre-optic cable infrastructure using standards based SC/APC connectors at the central or nodal point in the network. The fibre-optic cable infrastructure subsequently ‘fans-out’ via the GPON passive splitters connecting to the end points where ONU/ONT’s (Optical Network Units/Terminals) complete the connection, again using SC/APC connectors.

Each OLT GPON port can serve up to 64 ONU/ONT’s and Zhone’s GPON OLT systems can provide the following connectivity:-

  • MXK-194 1U OLT’s up to 256 ONU’s (up to 1,024 LAN ports)
  • MXK-198 1U OLT’s up to 512 ONU’s (up to 2,048 LAN ports)
  • MXK-319 3U OLT’s up to 3,584 ONU’s (up to 14,336 LAN ports)
  • MXK-819 8U OLT’s up to 7,168 ONU’s (up to 28,672 LAN ports)

Zhone Network Interface Devices

Zhone also have an extensive range of GPON ONU/ONT’s providing LAN ports, PoE (Power over Ethernet) ports, POTS ports with and without WiFi according to User requirements.

Zhone’s ONU/ONT’s are known as ZNID’s – Zhone Network Interface Devices.


Zhone’s GPON products for the Enterprise (LAN) sector are collectively known as ‘FiberLAN’

Zhone’s FiberLAN GPON technology is also very popular in MDU (Multiple Dwelling Unit) environments such as hotels, hospitals, prisons, apartment blocks, office blocks and student accommodation blocks etc. when extending Ultrafast Internet services (usually installed in the basement) to each room via a single mode fibre-optic cabling infrastructure.

The GPON OLT is often installed in the basement close to the Ultrafast Internet service, each GPON port of the OLT connects to a fibre-optic ‘backhaul’ cable to each floor or storey where GPON Passive Splitter(s) connect the backhaul cable to each room on the same floor.

In each room the Ultrafast Internet service is presented either via RJ45 LAN ports or WiFi according to User requirements, it’s as simple as that!

Zhone’s FiberLAN GPON System is extremely cost-effective in these applications when compared to the older structured cabling systems due to them not requiring the following items:-

  • Dedicated Comms Rooms on each floor
  • Comms Room air-conditioning
  • Comms Cabinets
  • Comms Rack UPS Systems
  • Structured cabling patch panels
  • CAT5e/Cat6/CatX patch cables
  • LAN Switches
  • Heavy Cat5e/Cat6/CatX cable containment


Zhone are a market-leader in GPON technologies and boast an extensive range of GPON products, Zhone in conjunction with Network Extender Technologies Ltd were one of the first providers of GPON solutions in the UK.


  • ONT end devices
  • OLT Head-end Systems
  • Zhone Management Systems