AT&T tees up 1-Gig XGS-PON speeds in more than 40 cities

AT&T is starting to travel down the XGS-PON deployment pathway with the recent launch of up to 1 Gbps speeds in over 40 U.S. cities.

The long-term goal for AT&T's XGS-PON deployments is reaching up to 10 Gbps, which would give it a counter measure to the cable industry's 10G initiative. AT&T declined to say which vendors it was using for its XGS-PON deployments, and beyond naming the cities, was unwilling to provide any additional information beyond a statement related to open source.

XGS-PON is a fixed wavelength symmetrical 10Gbps passive optical network technology. It’s part of AT&T's roadmap to virtualize access functions within the last mile network.

RELATED: AT&T says XGS-PON field tests prove out ONAP utility, PON coexistence

Two years ago, AT&T completed trials of 10 Gbps XGS-PON by using Open Source Access Manager Hardware Abstraction (OSAM-HA) software in Atlanta and Dallas. OSAM-HA was released into the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) in 2017 as VOLTHA.

OSAM, which used the Open Networking Automation Platform (ONAP) platform that AT&T helped develop, is a vendor-agnostic operational suite for managing consumer and business broadband access network elements and capabilities. ONAP has undergone several major releases over the past few years.

ONF's Virtual OLT Hardware Abstraction (VOLTHA) open source software project, which is a component of ONF's SDN Enabled Broadband Access (SEBA) platform, abstracts a PON network to make it manageable as if it were a standard OpenFlow switch. 

SEBA describes how to assemble a collection of open source components to build a virtualized PON network to deliver residential broadband and mobile backhaul. SEBA uses a disaggregated white-box approach for building next generation access networks by using open source. 

"AT&T continues to work with open communities such as ONF, ONAP, and OCP (Open Compute Project) to drive innovation, time-to-market, and cost improvements as we build next generation networks," the company said in a Wednesday statement in regard to a request for more information on the deployments in the 40-plus cities.