Nokia, Vodafone lab test 100G PON

Feb. 2, 2021
The prototype used a single 25G laser and DSP technology developed at Nokia Bell Labs to create the single-wavelength 100G PON transmission.

Nokia and Vodafone say they successfully trialed last week a prototype 100G PON system in Vodafone’s Eschborn lab in Germany. The prototype used a single 25G laser and DSP technology developed at Nokia Bell Labs to create the single-wavelength 100G PON transmission.

The technology trialed supports flexible transmission rates up to 100 Gbps and is the first technology to offer such flexibility, the collaborators assert. The flexible rate approach involves the grouping of optical network units (ONUs) with similar physical network characteristics (e.g., loss or dispersion) to improve the efficiency of data transmission. The result is lower latency and a 50% reduction in power consumption, Nokia and Vodafone say. These characteristics would make PONs more appealing for a variety of applications including the support of mobile broadband services, the companies add.

Nokia and Vodafone note that 25G optics are mature and available today (and, among other things, underpin Nokia’s recently announced 25G PON approach; see “Nokia offers symmetrical 25G PON via ISAM FX”). “Once this DSP is adopted,” in the words of a joint press release, 50G and 100G PON development would become relatively straightforward, leading to commercial availability in the second half of this decade, the companies assert.

Vodafone is interested in high-speed PON approaches as it evolves towards a unified, fiber-based approach to access, aggregation, backhaul of cable nodes, and mobile transport. The company says such high-speed capabilities could enable a series of futuristic applications and services, from “virtual teleportation” and 3D holographic capabilities that could aid healthcare, education, retail, and leisure applications.

“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,” commented Gavin Young, head of Vodafone’s 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.”

“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 fiber 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 fiber broadband,” added Peter Vetter, head of Access and Devices Research at Nokia Bell Labs.

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