Converged fiber PON/DAS: A Passive Optical Network With More Abilities Than Copper

By: Larry Loeb| - Leave a comment


Venues like professional sports stadiums must be able to compete against the allure of watching the big game at home from the comfort of the couch. Upgrading to a converged fiber PON/DAS infrastructure can help stadiums to deliver the total, multimodal experience fans crave by delivering the interactive services they want.

PON/DAS? What’s That?

PON/DAS stands for passive optical network/distributed antenna system. Because it uses fiber-optic cabling to deliver services, it costs about one-third less than legacy systems. Not only that, but multiple services such as Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Cellular and IPTV can use the same infrastructure.

Special power and cooling systems in your wiring closets aren’t required, as they might be with a legacy switched network, another way that infrastructure costs are kept low with PON/DAS. Additionally, passive optical network management is intelligent, which means that fewer operational resources are needed to manage the networking environment.

The distributed antenna system enables flexible capacity steering. This provides the system with the ability to allot cellular capacity to different areas of the infrastructure as employees or end users move about.

What’s Involved in PON/DAS?

The passive optical network has a centralized management console that provides integrated connectivity with an optical network terminal (ONT), passive splitter and an optical line terminal (OLT).

The ONT connects computer devices into the passive optical LAN network with Ethernet ports that are on the terminal. The ONT converts the electrical signals into optical ones that can travel on the optical LAN.

Optical splitters split the light signal multiple ways to ONTs and transmit the multiplexed signal to the OLT. The OLT will aggregate the optical signals from the ONTs and convert them back to electrical signals for the core router. The OLT can have other functions as well, but aggregated layers and multiple switches are not necessary in this kind of network.

Stadiums Embrace the Passive Optical Network

AMB Sports & Entertainment (AMB S&E) will use converged fiber PON/DAS at its state-of-the-art Mercedes-Benz Stadium set to open in 2017 to showcase next generation fan experience. AMB S&E expects to offer fans a truly immersive event-day experience at this new stadium from start to finish as the result of its partnership with IBM’s Smarter Stadium Network technologies.

“We know that creating the ultimate fan experience means meeting fans where they are, providing them with the platform to interact in a seamless way and introducing them to new offerings that exceed expectations,” said Rich McKay, president and CEO of the Atlanta Falcons. “IBM understands the commitment we are making to our fans and will help us reset the bar in terms of fan experience, technology and sustainability for sports and entertainment complexes globally.”

Just like the AMB S&E want to deliver to their fans, venues of all kinds need to understand what their patrons want and need in order to fully experience events. After all, those user-taken photos of an event don’t get posted to social networks in real time without having Wi-Fi available to enable it.

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