nokia Openreach

Openreach partners with Nokia for future-proof FTTH network

22 May 2020 | Melanie Mingas


Openreach is to use Nokia’s GPON and XGS-PON fibre access technologies to deploy a next generation network it says has the potential to provide a £59 billion boost to UK productivity by 2025.

In its first phase, the rollout will expand Openreach’s fibre-rich network to reach 4.5 million premises by the end of March 2021.

Nokia said the technology will support a “smooth evolution” by software upgrade from current systems to virtualised access-network control and management (SDAN – Software Defined Access Networking).

Future-proofing the network, Nokia said its technology would be capable of delivering up to 10Gb/s symmetrical broadband speeds in areas where demand for additional capacity could be required.

The project will deliver fibre to 20 million homes across the UK by the mid-to-late 2020s, with Openreach saying the network could enable 400,000 more people to work from home and allow 125,000 parents with dependent children the opportunity to re-enter the workforce and help to reduce greenhouse emissions.

Sandra Motley, president of fixed networks at Nokia said: “Ensuring everybody has access to broadband services is critical, especially during unprecedented times like these where it has become the lifeline to millions working, handling healthcare and learning from home.  Our fiber solutions will help Openreach bring enhanced ultra-broadband services to millions of new customers across the UK today while our 10G PON technology will help to futureproof their network against whatever may come next.”

In 2016, Openreach partnered with Huawei and Nokia following their trials of technology in the UK with BT. In 2018, a five-year equipment deal was signed between Openreach and the two equipment suppliers for headend equipment to be located in the Openreach telephone exchange.

Today’s Nokia’s deployed technology allows Openreach to offer 100’s Mb/s to homes in areas where fibre is not yet available.

Clive Selley, CEO of Openreach, said: “We’re accelerating our full fibre build to deliver an ultrafast, ultra-reliable and futureproof broadband network throughout the UK. This new digital platform will help our economy to bounce back more quickly from the Covid-19 pandemic – enabling people to continue work from home, and millions of businesses to operate seamlessly online for decades to come.

“Right now, we’re making the new network available to around 32,000 homes and businesses every week, and Nokia’s innovative solutions are helping us to build it better, broader and faster. Our partnership with Nokia will be critical in helping us to upgrade the nation and hit our target of reaching four and a half million premises by the end of March 2021.”

Over the last decade Openreach has invested more than £14 billion into its 185 million kilometre network.

Peter Bell, network technologies director, Openreach CTIO said: “Nokia is already making a major contribution to Openreach’s Fibre-to-the-Premises rollout, including in the build of our first fully fibred city, Salisbury. We’re confident that Nokia will continue to be a strong partner in helping us meet our ambition throughout the UK.”