We report on a hybrid DWDM-TDMA optical access network that provides a route for integrating access and metro networks into a single all-optical system. The greatest challenge in using DWDM in optical access networks is to precisely align the wavelength of the customer transmitter (Tx) with a DWDM wavelength grid at low cost. Here, this was achieved using novel tunable, external cavity lasers in the optical network units (ONUs) at the customer's end. To further support the upstream link, a 10 Gb/s burst mode receiver (BMRx) was developed and gain-stabilized erbium-doped fiber amplifiers (EDFAs) were used in the network experiments. The experimental results show that 10 Gb/s bit rates can be achieved both in the downstream and upstream (operated in burst mode) direction over a reach of 100 km. Up to 32 × 50 GHz spaced downstream wavelengths and another 32 × 50 GHz spaced upstream wavelengths can be supported. A 512 split per wavelength was achieved: the network is then capable of distributing a symmetric 320 Gb/s capacity to 16384 customers. The proposed architecture is a potential candidate for future optical access networks. Indeed it spreads the cost of the network equipment over a very large customer base, allows for node consolidation and integration of metro and optical access networks into an all-optical system.
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