What Is Passive Optical LAN?

by | Jun 12, 2017 | Blog

Passive Optical LAN, or OLAN, is a fiber-based IT infrastructure that combines the best of standards-based Gigabit Passive Optical Network (G-PON) and advanced enterprise Ethernet technologies. The five (5) main pieces of an Optical LAN system are the Optical Line Terminal (OLT), Single Mode Fiber (SMF) cabling, Passive Optical Splitters, Optical Network Terminal (ONT) and Passive Optical Network Manager.

  • Optical Line Terminal, or OLT, is typically located in a main data center and provides aggregation and distribution of the enterprise network connectivity. It is the OLT that is connected to the Wide Area Network (WAN), High-Speed Internet and all corporate resource servers through the core router.
  • Single Mode Fiber, or SMF, is the optical cabling that runs throughout the building’s risers and pathways. It is the SMF that physically connects the OLT, splitters and ONTs.
  • Passive Optical Splitters provide the point-to-multipoint connectivity between the OLT and the ONTs. The splitters offer flexible mounting in telecom closets, wall enclosures or ceiling enclosures. They are unmanaged and highly reliable.
  • Optical Network Terminal, or ONT, enables optical to electrical conversion and Ethernet connectivity for voice, video, data, Wi-Fi and all other digital enterprise services and devices. ONTs are PoE enabled and subtend other powered devices (e.g. phones, cameras, wireless access points). ONT mounting can be located above the desk, below the desk or can be nearly flush-mounted in the wall. They can also be mounted in zone boxes, with optional plenum brackets and in raised floors.
  • Passive Optical Network Manager, or PON Manager, is the centralized intelligence and management of the passive optical network and subtended powered devices. The PON Manager provides the one console and one screen control to orchestrate consist, repeatable, error-free IT policies and procedures.

Tellabs develops and manufactures industry-leading advanced enterprise software, OLTs, ONTs and PON Manager. If you would like to learn more about Tellabs OLAN solutions, we encourage you to download our OLAN whitepaper.


John Hoover, Tellabs Marketing Director
John Hoover
Director of Marketing
John Hoover is a Marketing Director at Tellabs and 2024 Board Chair of the Association for Promoting Optical LAN (APOLAN). Over the past 20 years, John has influenced industry milestones such as early passive optical network deployments, video implementations, wireless and more recently enterprise Passive Optical LAN adoption.