XGS-PON: The New Generation of Very High Broadband with the Livebox 7

Livebox 6 et Livebox 7 côte à côte - Livebox 6 and Livebox 7 side by side - photo Natacha Mojaisky
• The gradual deployment of the new very high broadband fiber-optic standard addresses the needs of users with the most demanding bandwidth needs.
• To take advantage of these broadband speeds, a compatible box—such as the Livebox 7, launched in October 2023 in France, and the Funbox 10, which is planned for early 2024 in Poland—is a must.

: Have you heard of this new technology of very high broadband fiber-optic networks? It is the evolution of the current G-PON (Gigabit-capable Passive Optical Network) standard. “Thanks to this new standard, theoretical symmetrical broadband speeds of 10 Gb/s can be achieved, which is four to eight times faster than G-PON fiber,” explained Thomas Gosselin, Director of Innovation for Home at Orange.

This new technology is currently being rolled out across networks. It consists in upgrading current OLT (Optical Line Termination) equipment with new capabilities. Customers’ hardware must also be updated to an XGS-PON-compatible box. “In France, 30% of our customers should be eligible for XGS-PON by the end of 2024 and we are aiming for 100% by the end of 2026,” said Laurent Feurer, Product Marketing Director for Telco services at Orange France. Other countries are expected to benefit from this development; in addition to Spain, Orange is currently rolling out XGS-PON in the five largest cities in Poland.

Thanks to this new standard, theoretical symmetrical broadband speeds of 10 Gb/s can be achieved

Meeting Future Needs

The speeds delivered by XGS-PON should satisfy even users with the most “demanding” bandwidth needs, such as “remote workers who transfer large files or videos and gamers downloading digital games,” explained Thomas Gosselin. This technology allows for simultaneous use in the home and gives connected users a more pleasant experience. It also lays the groundwork for use cases surrounding augmented/virtual reality and the metaverse — applications that are demanding in terms of speeds and latency.

Meanwhile, the first XGS-PON-compatible boxes are also arriving on the market. One such example is Orange’s latest box: the Livebox 7, available in France since October 2023. It has the advantage of being able to handle both the G-PON and XGS-PON networks, so that customers who own the Livebox 7 can “easily switch from one network to another, without needing to change their box,” added Laurent Feurer. To promote efficiency, its design has been mutualized across the countries where Orange operates — the same technological platform will be rolled out with options and versions adapted to each local market.

A Focus on Environmental Impact

Great care has been taken to minimize the carbon footprint of the Livebox 7. Created with an eco-design approach certified by Bureau Veritas for the first time, it is mostly made from recycled and recyclable materials. Its components are also simple to assemble and disassemble, making it easier to refurbish, and the packaging has been redesigned to avoid using more material than is needed. To reduce power consumption, the box has a standby system, and a version with an screen is available in France. The Livebox 7 also includes many components from the Livebox 6, such as the Wi-Fi 6E card, to limit new industrial developments. In the same way, greater focus has been placed on mutualizing its use between individual and professional customers to avoid increasing numbers of models.

As regards production, one of the criteria used when choosing manufacturing plants was their ability to offer alternative solutions to fossil fuels. As for logistics, discussions on how transport should be decarbonized are ongoing, with plans to use wind-powered cargo ships for the first time from 2024.

Between a seamless user experience, reduced energy consumption and an even more advanced CSR approach, the Livebox 7 provides a cutting-edge response to the most demanding use cases of today. In the future, innovation and research into the XGS-PON’s successor should make speeds of up to 50 Gb/s and beyond possible.

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