Nokia and Vodafone set gigabit fibre broadband record

Nokia and Vodafone set gigabit fibre broadband record
Ryan is an editor at TechForge Media with over a decade of experience covering the latest technology and interviewing leading industry figures. He can often be sighted at tech conferences with a strong coffee in one hand and a laptop in the other. If it's geeky, he’s probably into it. Find him on Twitter: @Gadget_Ry

Nokia and Vodafone have joined forces to set a new gigabit fibre broadband record through a successful Passive Optical Network (PON) trial.

PON implements a point-to-multipoint topology, in which a single optical fibre serves multiple endpoints by using unpowered fibre optic splitters to divide the fibre bandwidth among multiple access points.

Nokia’s renowned subsidiary Bell Labs provided its innovations for the trial, including the use of state-of-the-art digital signal processing (DSP) techniques.

Peter Vetter, Head of Access and Devices Research at Bell Labs, said:

“Bell Labs is focused on delivering the innovative technologies needed for the flexible, adaptable networks of the future. Optical innovations pioneered by Nokia Bell Labs, like shaping, are widely adopted by the industry.

For the first time, we show a unique flexible rate capability that allows optimising capacity depending on the link losses and low-cost optical component capabilities in an optical network termination.

We believe fibre will play a key role in 5G and 6G, and that is why we are truly excited about the 100G PON demo, and its potential in creating the future of fibre broadband.“

Cost-effective and widely-available 25G optics were combined with DSP to achieve incredible speeds of up to 100 gigabits per second on a single wavelength.

Advanced DSP is needed to go beyond 25G but Nokia says – once adopted – the steps to 50G and 100G are “straightforward” and could be commercially available in the second half of the decade.

The trial also marks the world’s first use of flexible rate transmission in a PON network.

Flexible rate transmission groups fibre modems that exhibit similar physical network characteristics (e.g. loss or dispersion) to make data transmission more efficient. The result is lower latency while cutting power consumption in half.

Stefaan Vanhastel, CTO of the Fixed Networks Division at Nokia, commented:

“We keep pushing the potential of fibre access so that capacity stays ahead of the unrelenting demand of the connected world.

In 2020, we launched the first commercial 25G PON solution. Now, we’re delighted to show state-of-the-art 100G technology together with Vodafone.

These breakthroughs in speed turn an existing fibre-to-the-home network into a fibre network that can connect homes, businesses, remote cable nodes, and 5G small cells.”

The trial took place at Vodafone’s Eschborn lab in Germany last week and achieved speeds of up to 100 gigabits per second on a single wavelength.

“100G PON has 40 times the capacity of today’s GPON networks and 10 times the capacity of XGS-GPON, so it will help us keep ahead of the demand curve,” explains Gavin Young, Vodafone’s Head of Fixed Access Centre of Excellence.

(Photo by Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash)

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