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Rural China will be a critical market for optical comms

Posted: 29 Mar 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Optical Fibers in Communications? wave-division multiplexing? WDM? Internet Protocol?

Fan: Rural villages could prove to be the largest optical market over the next decade.

China's booming coastal cities are the current focus of optical communications growth, but rural villages could prove to be the largest optical market over the next decade, according to a leading Chinese optical researcher.

Speaking at this week's Optical Fibers in Communications conference Anaheim, California, Chungcheng Fan, vice director at the China Institute of Communications predicted that the Ethernet version of passive optical network technology, or EPON, would prove to be the cheapest version of broadband service to be deployed in rural China.

"We believe PON will be so important that FTTH will stand for 'Fiber Takes over the Home'," Fan said. "EPON will be the winner in the rural areas because it is the cheapest PON, and because the problem of stealing copper wire is too great to further expand copper-based access."

Beijing's ambitious "Teleservices to Every Village" program is tied to expanding Websites for agriculture-related programs. By the end of 2006, 98.9 percent of administrative villages in China already offered some data services, Fan said. More than 6,000 Websites are designed to provide information to China's farmers.

Fan said fiber backbones are of equal relevance to landline providers China Telecom and China Netcom, and mobile providers China Mobile and China Unicom. All use wave-division multiplexing (WDM), Internet Protocol and multiprotocol label switching in their backbones. China Mobile has moved to a massive dense WDM network that uses 160 channels of 10Gbps service, Fan said.

China's four leading telecom manufacturersHuawei, FiberHome, ZTE and Alcatel Shanghai Bellall have massively expanded their investment in optical switching and transport. Huawei in particular has moved to development of continent-wide DWDM networks. A "SuperWDM" system for Russia includes a 160-by-10Gbit backbone for Russian carrier TransTelecom.

- Loring Wirbel
EE Times

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