Nokia, Telefónica successfully test 25G PON technology in Spain

Noting ever-increasing consumer bandwidth demands and the need to support applications such as the metaverse, operator announces demo of new FTTH technology to offer new business services on same network as home connectivity

In the latest of a series of trials of passive optical network (PON) edge optical broadband technology with leading European communications operators, Nokia has revealed it has worked with Telefónica to successfully test a 25G PON for the first time in Spain.

Nokia’s offering utilises 25GS-PON technology that includes Lightspan access nodes – high-capacity access nodes for massive scale fibre roll-outs – as well as 25G/10G optical cards and fibre modems. Typically located in telecom central offices, Lightspan nodes see use in connecting up to thousands of users via optical fibre, aggregate their broadband traffic and send it deeper in the network.

The fibre access nodes can support multiple fibre technologies, including GPON, XGS-PON, 25GS-PON and Point-to-Point Ethernet to deliver a wide range of services with the best-fitting technology. Nokia optical network termination (ONT) devices/fibre modems are located at the user location. They terminate the optical fibre connection and deliver broadband services in the user premises or cell sites. It also includes Quillion-based Multi-PON line cards and fibre modems. Dependent on the optics chosen, 25G PON supports symmetrical bitrates (25Gb/s in downstream and 25G in upstream) and asymmetrical bitrates (25/10).

In the new trial, Telefónica is said to have not only demonstrated symmetric speeds of 20 Gbps, but also showed that the leading operator’s current GPON and XGS-PON broadband technologies – the latter currently finding traction among leading European full-fibre providers – can co-exist “seamlessly” on the same fibre with the 25G PON.

In addition to envisaging 25G PON as delivering “huge” symmetrical bandwidth capacity that will support new use cases and bandwidth requirements, the operator also believes that such high broadband speeds aligned with low latency get its network ready for future applications such as the Metaverse.

Commenting on where he thought the test could lead, Gonzalo Garzón, head of fixed access at Telefónica España, said: “Telefonica was the first operator in Spain to provide gigabit connectivity, but we are not stopping there. Consumer bandwidth demands never halt, and exciting applications, like VR [virtual reality] gaming, will always be evolved to make the most of available bandwidth. New FTTH technologies give us even more opportunities than home connectivity. With their massive uptick in capacity, we’ll be able to offer new business services on the same network.”

“Thanks to our Quillion chipset, this 25G PON proof of concept with Telefónica has demonstrated that the huge bandwidth capacity can be easily added to their existing networks, co-existing with their existing PON technologies,” said Bjorn Capens, vice-president for Europe at Nokia Fixed Networks. “This means customers on the same fibre line can be served with GPON, XGS-PON or 25G GPON, making it much easier to manage upgrade cycles.”

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In May 2021, through a partnership with Nokia, leading Belgian operator Proximus became the first company to make a 25G PON live deployment running on the same fibre network equipment as an existing fibre infrastructure.

The live PON network connected the Havenhuis building in the Port of Antwerp with the Proximus head office in the city centre. Nine months later, Nokia revealed a successful 25G PON fibre broadband trial with Croatian operator Hrvatski Telekom, which was looking to increase “radically” the capacity, bandwidth and quality of its future broadband service.

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