What Is Optical LAN?

Tellabs is a pioneer and leader in the Passive Optical LAN market – 60% of all Passive Optical LAN enterprise deployments in North America and more than 80% US Federal Agency deployments are Tellabs.


So, what is Passive Optical LAN?


Is it a new networking technology? No, it is not a new technology. In fact, Tellabs’ first local area network deployments were installed starting back in 2008. Going back even further to 2003, Tellabs Passive Optical Networking (PON) equipment was used by Verizon for multi-dwelling units in downtown New York city high-rise apartment complexes which truly marks the birth of this PON architecture being used for local area networking.


Is it the same as Fiber to the Home (FTTH)? No, since residential FTTH passive optical networking equipment specializes in just the delivery of voice, video, internet and static Wi-Fi. Enterprise Passive Optical LAN equipment has been engineered to support all IP/Ethernet based corporate resources, security, point of sale devices, building controls and building automation. This is in addition to business grade voice, all forms of enterprise video, data and the dynamic Wi-Fi demands of a modern office and extended campus.


Is it just Gigabit Passive Optical Network (G-PON)? To call it just “G-PON” is truly short-changing its advanced enterprise LAN features and functions. G-PON is only one of many network protocols supported across a Passive Optical LAN system. There is a long list of IEEE protocols required for enterprise deployments, such as the Power over Ethernet, Link Layer Discovery Protocol, Network Access Controls and strict Security practices (e.g. 802.1x, Cisco ISE, DAI, MAB, etc…).


Optical LAN, or OLAN for short, is based on PON architecture, but adds engineering enhancements in the support of enterprise applications required for modern high-performance corporate offices and campuses. With inherently better security, improved network availability and greater operational efficiencies, Passive Optical LANs are ideal for today’s business offices, federal government, hospitality, healthcare, retail and education markets. This fiber-based LAN design is dramatically faster, more sustainable, and cost effective, while being more scalable and adaptable to future requirements than traditional copper-based infrastructure.


For more information about Passive Optical LANs, please download our informative white paper.