Nokia and Vodafone have announced the successful trial of a new Passive Optical Network (PON) technology capable of delivering speeds up to 100 gigabits per second (Gb/s) on a single wavelength. This is 10 times faster than the most advanced networks available today.
The trial took place in Vodafone’s Eschborn lab in Germany last week and is an industry-first in fibre access. Nokia previously achieved breakthroughs in 10G PON, TWDM-PON, universal PON and 25G PON.
Nokia said that, with demand for broadband connectivity continuing to grow exponentially in terms of the service types, number of connected devices and the bandwidth consumed, it is essential that future fixed access networks have the capacity to absorb this growth.
To deliver 100 Gb/s on a single wavelength, Nokia Bell Labs used cost-effective 25G optics in combination with digital signal processing (DSP) techniques. 25G class optics are based on mature eco-system and available today. Nokia said that going beyond 25G requires advanced DSP capabilities demonstrated in this trial, and that once this DSP is adopted, the steps to 50G and 100G are straightforward and could be commercially available in the second half of the decade.
The Nokia Bell Labs 100G PON prototype is the world’s first application of flexible rate transmission in a PON network. Flexible rate transmission works by grouping fibre modems (ONUs) that exhibit similar physical network characteristics (such as loss or dispersion) and makes data transmission more efficient. Using flexible rate transmission results in lower latency on a PON and cuts power consumption in half — two essential characteristics for fibre networks that have a rapidly growing role in the massive delivery of fixed and mobile broadband services.
Gavin Young, Vodafone’s head of fixed access centre of excellence, said, “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. In addition to ultra-high speeds, the technology supports our vision of highly efficient and adaptable next-generation networks. 100G PON enables flexible rates, and works by grouping modems using a technique similar to the one we already use in our cable networks, so this experience can help us to better evaluate and exploit this new PON technology.”
Stefaan Vanhastel, chief technology officer, fixed networks division, Nokia, added, “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.”