Vodafone and Nokia trial L4S for low latency

Vodafone has teamed up with Nokia Bell Labs to carry out a trial into the viability of using L4S (low latency, low loss and scalable throughput) technology over passive optical networks (PON).

This could improve network latency times for internet activities such as augmented reality, video conferencing and multiplayer gaming.

The new IETF Internet standard, L4S, could enable networks to simultaneously maintain high throughput and low latency.

Nokia Bell Labs and Vodafone's Fixed Access Centre of Excellence carried out a demonstration of L4S running over PON in Vodafone's lab in Newbury. The demo was performed on an end-to-end fixed access network built with Nokia technology. It consisted of a broadband network gateway (BNG), a PON optical line terminal (OLT), multiple PON optical network terminals (ONTs) and WiFi access points.

The lab tests showed extremely low and consistent end-to-end latencies across the network and without compromising network speeds. In the tests, Vodafone and Nokia Bell Labs measured consistent latencies of 1.05ms at local Ethernet ports running over a fully congested access network (BNG to ONT) when loading a website, and just 12.1ms when including a fully congested WiFi link as the final connection.

Azimeh Sefidcon, head of network systems and security research, Bell Labs at Nokia, said, "These highly encouraging results show L4S will unshackle any real-time application that would normally be constrained by high latency. Videoconferencing, cloud-gaming, augmented reality and even the remote operations of drones would run flawlessly across the internet, without experiencing any significant queuing delays."

Gavin Young, head of Fixed Access Centre of Excellence at Vodafone, said, "As a leading broadband provider, Vodafone aims to give customers a faster, more responsive, and reliable service unhindered by lag even during peak hours. L4S is an exciting technology with huge potential to achieve this goal, as well as deliver a more interactive and tactile internet experience for our customers."

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