One wavelength can carry 100Gbps, say Nokia and Vodafone

One wavelength can carry 100Gbps, say Nokia and Vodafone

Vodafone HQ 2.jpg

Engineers at Vodafone’s Eschborn lab in Germany have transmitted data down a fibre on a single wavelength at 100Gbps — 40 times faster than most optical networks achieve today.

The telco, working with Nokia’s Bell Labs, said it used 25Gbps optics — based on mature ecosystems and available today — in combination with state-of-the-art digital signal processing (DSP) techniques.

Vodafone said the technology can be used on highly flexible and scalable passive optical networks (PON). Stefaan Vanhastel, CTO of Nokia’s fixed networks division, said tt also means carriers can expand fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) networks to businesses, remote cable nodes and 5G small cells.

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.”

The move comes only a year after Nokia introduced its 25Gbps PON solution, said Vanhastel: “We keep pushing the potential of fibre access so that capacity stays ahead of the unrelenting demand of the connected world.”

Young said: “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.”

Nokia said its Bell Labs 100G PON prototype is the world’s first application of flexible rate transmission in a PON network.

US-based Peter Vetter, head of access and devices research at Nokia Bell Labs, said: “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.” It is “the future of fibre broadband”, he said.

But not just yet. Vodafone said that the 100Gbps PON tested at Eschborn “is likely to become available later this decade”. But it can improve today’s 10Gbps PON links without digging up roads.

Vodafone CTO Johan Wibergh said: “Today’s technological breakthrough supports Vodafone’s strategy to prepare our African and European networks to meet the inevitable growth in demand for faster, more responsive and immersive internet services. We continue to focus on the current needs of customers like extending broadband to rural communities, supporting working and learning from home, and equipping smart factories, all while keeping an eye on the future.”







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