Australians get double broadband boost with new fiber trials

This week the Australian National Broadband Network (nbn) said it has had some extraordinary success using fiber technologies from the Alcatel side of Nokia, getting a single fiber to carry 102 Gbps, using multiple different passive optical network (PON) based protocols.

nbn said it has successfully tested Nokia’s universal NG-PON in a lab, using NG-PON2, XGS-PON and GPON delivery across the same fiber. This, it says, will provide a simple upgrade path from current fiber technology used in FTTP deployments, because it can be deployed as an overlay on existing fiber.

TWDM-PON provides four or more wavelengths on a fiber, each capable of supporting asymmetrical or symmetrical bit rates of 2.5Gbps or 10Gbps for a total of 40Gbps. XGS-PON uses one wavelength to provide 10Gbps. Finally, straightforward GPON delivers at 2.5Gbps

Collectively, the technologies delivered download and upload speeds of more than 102Gbps aggregate over a single shared access fiber, which can be used as 51 Gbps in both directions or asymmetrically, favoring one direction.

Nokia said that TWDM-PON can download a 2-hour, 4K-quality video in seconds and sees this very much a video enabling broadband move. With the use of advanced software, the technology can also enable the dynamic provision of data capacity on the network, giving operators like nbn hugely flexible options on providing broadband.

Nbn says it now has over 2 million end-users receiving broadband services and nearly 5 million are able to order the service. That’s out of 9.2 million households in Australia, which given the huge geography involved is pretty good.

In the meantime, in a separate announcement US broadband provider Adtran, said it has deployed XGS-PON technology at operator Vocus Communications in an extensive metro fiber network running at 10Gbps symmetrical business grade capacity. This is also in Australia where Vocus supports business broadband and MNO backhaul.

Vocus uses Adtran’s Multi Service Access Nodes, 10G Optical Line Termination (OLT) equipment and 10G Optical Network Termination (ONT) units.