Solving the IoT growth dilemma with passive optical LAN

14 June 2018

Alan Bertsch, chairman, Association for Passive Optical LAN

Alan Bertsch, chairman, Association for Passive Optical LAN

The number of connected Internet of Things (IoT) devices worldwide is expected to increase by 12 percent on average annually, reaching 125 billion by 2030 according the IHS Markit

If the prediction comes true, it would equate to approximately 15 device connections for every person currently on the planet. However, these numbers are not surprising if you consider the limitless number of applications that IoT can deliver. 

The network of physical objects, devices, vehicles, buildings and other items embedded with the electronics, software, sensors, and connectivity that enables the collection and exchange data is driving this adoption.

The possibilities and numbers are staggering – especially when you think about the infrastructure that must be in place to support these connections.

Passive Optical LAN (POL) is the only infrastructure that can deliver management and bandwidth allocation features, built-in intelligence and scalable bandwidth that can accommodate all IoT demands. 

POL offers a number of features worth considering.

For instance, it consolidates all systems commonly found in today’s buildings. This significantly reduces the amount of cabling and allows network convergence onto a single fibre-based infrastructure to maximise ROI. 

It also has the ability to serve 8,000 GbE endpoints across a 30km reach from one system.

What’s more, POL’s architecture can easily scale and makes connecting more IoT devices without a major build-out effort simple. It can also control a broad array of IoT products, often with just one data centre.

The space required for POL is reduced as there are fewer telecom rooms, less cable mass, and smaller and limited pathways. All of which means lower costs. Furthermore, with less space and fewer products required to setup and expand a future-proof LAN, POL costs less than a comparable legacy system. 

Last but by no means least, it offers increased security as all Ethernet port defaults are locked. A two-way handshake and network access control mechanisms are needed for activation and offer vastly greater security protection. This is a particularly useful element when the IoT often deals with sensitive information.

Yesterday’s legacy copper-based LAN infrastructures cannot carry this burden. Which is why there has been an impressive uptick in the adoption of POL. This is the only solution uniquely positioned keep pace with IoT’s growth.