Nokia and Vodafone demonstrate 100-Gbps fiber broadband in new trial
Nokia and Vodafone have completed a trial of a new broadband technology that delivers a blistering 100 gigabits per second (Gbps) on a single wavelength. The trial was conducted using the kinds of network seen in the “last mile” between an ISP and a user, meaning it could eventually be rolled out commercially.
Most of the world is still getting by with internet speeds in the realm of Megabits per second (Mbps), up to a few hundred. If you’re lucky enough to live in one of the US cities that received the limited rollout of Google Fiber, you may have 1 Gbps, while countries like Japan and New Zealand offer access to 10 Gbps.
While those speeds should serve our needs for a while, demand is constantly growing, so the telecoms are of course already thinking further ahead. Infrastructure that uses optics capable of 25 Gbps are closer to market (understandably), and in this latest development, Nokia and Vodafone have shown that these 25G class optics could be fine-tuned to deliver 100 Gbps.
The breakthrough was made using a Passive Optical Network (PON), which is the kind often found servicing the last part of the journey between an ISP and a customer’s home or business. The team managed to squeeze the extra data into a single wavelength, using new digital signal processing (DSP) techniques.
Another technique is called flexible rate transmission, which groups modems (or optical network units, ONUs) together based on having similar characteristics like loss or dispersion. This makes data transmission more efficient, and reduces latency and power consumption.
The team says that this is the first time flexible rate transmission has been used in a PON, and it shows there’s plenty of room to improve the technology already in use.
If the DSP used in this trial were to be adopted widely, the team says that 50 Gbps and 100 Gbps speeds could become commercially available in the second half of this decade.