How does xPON differ from EPON/GPON?


Passive Optical Network (PON) plays a vital role in delivering broadband network access to end customers. It can transmit signals from a point to multipoint through an optical fiber. It consists of Optical Line Terminal (OLT), Optical Network Unit (ONU), and Optical Distribution Network (ODN). GPON and EPON are the most well-known and widely used types of PON. Before we get to know the mysterious xPON, let’s learn EPON and GPON briefly.

GPON is popular for high bandwidth, multiple services, and large coverage. It’s regarded as the ideal technology to realize full coverage of access to broadband networks. The maximum downstream and upstream rates are 2.5Gbps and 1.25Gbps.

EPON is based on the IEEE standard for Ethernet. It supports the transmission of 1 Gbps and 10 Gbps. It’s more cost-effective in comparison with GPON.

However, with the development of technology and market demands, xPON appears. The application of xPON makes a difference in upgrading EPON to GPON and benefits users a lot.

Part I. What is xPON?

XPON is the integration of GPON and EPON in terms of hardware and software.

On the one hand, the upstream and downstream rates of GPON are higher than that of EPON. According to the downward compatibility of hardware, the mode of GPON network is considered as the standard of hardware indicators. For instance, it offers multiple services including TDM, ATM, Ethernet and CATV, which is the same as GPON. There is also QoS Guarantee.

On the other hand, the software will adopt the mode of automatic detection and switch. EPON/GPON OLT will deliver the network packets when ONU accesses them. The network packets can’t be analyzed if ONU can’t match the OLT mode. At this point, xPON ONU will automatically restart and switch into the other mode after seconds. The registration is done when the switch is finished.


Part II. Compared with GPON/EPON, what’s the advantage of xPON?

The previous analysis of GPON vs EPON brings us the result that there are good points and bad points for both items. However, now we just need to choose xPON instead of hovering in GPON and EPON because xPON is able to identify them and switch the mode.

Besides, the xPON system provides a unified network management platform to manage various business requirements, support full service including ATM, Ethernet, and TDM with strict QoS guarantee, and transmit downstream cable TV through WDM. 

What’s more, as we all know, GPON is becoming more and more popular. xPON will help save a lot if users want to replace EPON with GPON.

Part III. Application of xPON

In accordance with the market demands, V-SOL has developed various types of xPON ONU that support dual modes (EPON and GPON). Here listed 4 typical items.

1. 4GE ONU V2804Z-4G

The product supports xPON with adopting ZTE high-performance chipset. There are 1*XPON port and 4 GE LAN ports. As you can see from the image, the PON port is built inside, which would be more secure and save space. It is fully compliant with technical regulations such as ITU-T G.984.x and IEEE802.3ah.SFP with SC/UPC connector transceiver.


2. PoE ONU V2820D-1G3FPS
This ONU also supports dual modes with 1*GE and 3*FE LAN ports. What makes it different from others is that it supports PoE, which can supply power to IP cameras, WiFi AP, and IP phone when it’s difficult to access electricity outdoor or in the corridors.


3. WiFi ONU V2802DAC

This xPON ONU supports WiFi 5 and EasyMesh, reaching a speed of up to 1200Mbps, which is a great choice for SOHO. It enables several devices to connect the network at the same time. In setting up mesh WiFi network at home, you can use this WiFi ONU as the main router connected to the OLT. VSOL’s WiFi 5 mesh router HG3610ACM servers as the slave router deployed around your home. Then, you can enjoy a fluent and fast Internet at every corner.



This ONU has rich interfaces and features. Not only are there 1*XPON port and 4*GE LAN ports, but also it supports USB 3.0 to provide fast network data transfer and also supports CATV.


The great performance like high reliability, easy management and configuration flexibility of xPON begins to bring it into notice. It’s believed that it will achieve a dominant position in fiber access to home or business (FTTH, FTTP, and  FTTC). Whether xPON or GPON/EPON, functions of which meet your needs are the right choices for you.

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