Nokia, Google Fiber test 50G PON in live network

Test is the first demonstration of 50G PON in a live network in the U.S., Nokia says

Nokia and Google’s GFiber Labs have achieved 50 Gbps broadband speeds over an existing fiber network, using Nokia’s 50G Passive Optical Networking (PON) technology.

PON is a way of providing broadband services over a fiberoptic network, and as described by Nokia, uses a fiber feeder which is split to connect multiple users (versus point-to-point, which relies on a dedicated fiber for each user). PON, according to the vendors is “better suited to massive broadband connectivity” and has a more extensive ecosystem.

Nokia and Google Fiber tested 25G PON last year and Google Fiber has since launched the first 25G PON commercial services using Nokia’s solutions; the latest trial builds upon their previous work.

Nokia said that the current work on 25G PON among fiber network operators around the world, lays the groundwork for future PON upgrades. It notes that it has 10G and 25G PON products available today, is supporting 50G trials and is demonstrating 100G PON technology.

In the case of Google Fiber, the fiber network provider was able to simultaneously run 10/25G PON and 25/50G PON broadband services on its fiber network, according to Nokia—which added in a press release that “Once the 50G PON industry matures, the step to 100G is straightforward.”

“We are always looking for ways to push the capabilities of our fiber network to deliver the best possible experience to our customers,” said Liz Hsu, Google Fiber’s senior director of product and billing. “This test with Nokia builds on the 25G PON deployment we announced together last year, paving the way for future improvements to our network that enhance customer experience in terms of speed, reliability, innovation and support for future business cases that have yet to be defined.”

Nokia said that the trial with Google Fiber is its second 50G PON trial in the past four months on a global basis, in addition to being the first one in the United States. The network vendor said that there are more than a dozen fiber network providers around the world who are deploying 25G PON, including Vodafone Qatar, Ogi in Wales and EPB of Chattanooga in addition to Google Fiber.

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