Alcatel-Lucent, Vodafone tout TWDM-PON field trial

Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) and Vodafone have partnered on a field trial of the systems house's Time and Wavelength Division Multiplexed Passive Optical Network (TWDM-PON) fiber-optic broadband technology. The activity is the first field trial of TWDM-PON in Europe, the testers assert.

Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) and Vodafone have partnered on a field trial of the systems house's Time and Wavelength Division Multiplexed Passive Optical Network (TWDM-PON) fiber-optic broadband technology. The activity is the first field trial of TWDM-PON in Europe, the testers assert.

The field trial follows successful completion of a lab trial of TWDM-PON in Vodafone's Vigo, Spain facilities. Vodafone assisted Alcatel-Lucent in the development of the technology, which the company announced last October (see "Alcatel-Lucent unveils TWDM-PON").

An Alcatel-Lucent source declined to provide further details of the field trial, including where it is taking place, how long it would run, and whether it would include residential and/or business service provision. However, a press release cited the benefits TWDM-PON might provide to Vodafone in both service areas. The technology also could be used in support of Vodafone's 4G mobile services roll out, the announcement pointed out, suggesting potential use as a mobile backhaul option.

"We have been engaged with Alcatel-Lucent for several years on TWDM-PON development, testing, and trial activities, and all of which have shown great results," said Gavin Young, head of Fixed Access, Vodafone Group, via the press release. "We look forward to conducting field trials of TWDM-PON technology in Europe."

TWDM-PON combines the ability to support multiple wavelengths (four, in Alcatel-Lucent's current offering) at 10 Gbps each. Some see the approach as superior to the single-wavelength 10-Gbps XG-PON for its ability to add further capacity via the multiple wavelengths. The multiple wavelengths also could prove useful in enabling operators to separate business and residential services while still delivering them over the same infrastructure, as well as for separating services from multiple operators who are sharing the same fiber-optic cable in an open access network.

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