Nokia and Vodafone have demonstrated a 100Gbit/s Passive Optical Network (PON) fibre broadband network using a single wavelength.
This is a key step forward for low cost, high speed broadband fibre rollouts. It uses four of the current leading edge 25Gbit/s modems and optics with digital signal processing (DSP) algorithms developed at Nokia Bell labs to combine the four channels on a single wavelength. Current rollouts are using 10Gbit/s PON systems but 25G class optics are coming to market, as Nokia launched the first commercial 25G PON system last year.
The record fibre broadband trial took place in Vodafone’s Eschborn lab in Germany last week, and Nokia says the 100G systems could be commercially available in the second half of the decade when 6G systems will need higher speed backbone network links.
The flexible rate transmission works by grouping fibre modems (ONUs) that exhibit similar physical network characteristics such as loss or dispersion. This results in lower latency on a PON and cuts power consumption in half to enable the use of the 25G optics.
“For the first time, we show a unique flexible rate capability that allows optimizing 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,” said Peter Vetter, Head of Access and Devices Research, Nokia Bell Labs.
Vodafone was the first operator in Europe to trial TWDM-PON (time wavelength division multiplexing), also with Nokia, and has a network that covers 140 million homes. It wants to use a unified fibre network for access, aggregation, backhaul of cable nodes and mobile transport, and the company sees 100G PON is a potential way to create highly flexible and scalable PON networks to do this.
“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,” said Gavin Young, Vodafone’s Head of Fixed Access Centre of Excellence. “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.”
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