KPN switches to ultra-fast XGS-PON technology

From October, KPN will be using XGS-PON technology on its fiber network. XGS stands for ten (X), Gigabit (G) and Symmetrical (S). As a result, it will soon be possible to achieve much higher speeds than with the GPON technology currently in use. KPN started field trials this summer in Scherpenzeel in Gelderland and in Hengelo. The experiences from these tests are positive. For this reason, XGS-PON will become the standard for existing GPON networks and any new fiber networks that are built.

10 Gigabit symmetrical
XGS-PON offers speeds of up to about 10 Gbps symmetrical. With current GPON, the highest achievable speed is 2.5 Gbps downstream and 1.25 Gbps upstream. Before 2018, KPN used so-called Point-to-Point technology on its fiber network. This allows for up and down speeds of a maximum of 1 Gbps.

Ready for the future
“With XGS-PON, KPN’s network is ready for the future”, says Babak Fouladi, KPN’s Chief Digital and Technology Officer and member of the Board of Management. “It supports the higher speeds that we want to offer our customers in the coming years. This means that they will have access to a technology that, in the long term, can offer them speeds of up to 10 Gbps. Both down- and upstream, as these are the same with XGS-PON. In the future, the engineering will be able to progress to the next PON-technology, which will increase the capacity to 25 Gbps or even higher.”

Less prone to disruption
KPN introduced GPON (Gigabit Passive Optical Network) technology to its fiber network in 2019. Like XGS-PON technology, this modern fiber technology makes use of splitters, so that parts of the network can be used by different customers simultaneously. This has the advantage that it can be rolled out faster. It also needs fewer junction boxes and the network can be monitored remotely, so that fewer mechanic visits are required. The customer can also switch more easily from one telecom service provider to another. Disruptions on a PON network are rare, because little or no manual work is involved after installation.

Circa 3 million addresses
As previously announced, KPN offers 1 Gbps down and upstream -symmetrical- to 2.6 million addresses since mid-July. By the end of this year, KPN will be able to provide 1 Gbps symmetrical to nearly 3 million connections. XGS-PON can also be applied relatively simply to addresses connected to existing GPON technology. The switch to XGS-PON demonstrates more than ever the power of the network of the Netherlands.