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Nokia, Google Fiber claim 50G PON first in live fibre trial in US

Tech giant’s development hub for transforming the internet experience expands relationship with comms tech provider on 50G passive optical network trial

Building on a previous 25G passive optical network (PON) deployment demonstrating how different PON technologies can be combined on the same fibre to evolve their broadband offerings, GFiber Labs has announced that it has been working with Nokia to successfully test 50Gbps broadband speeds over its existing fibre network.

Nokia said that the work with Google’s development hub for to transforming the internet experience represents the first live network demonstration of 50G PON technology in the US. It also shows how operators can use its Lightspan MF high-capacity software-defined fibre access node to upgrade their fibre networks to meet the growing demand for faster, more reliable connectivity. GFiber Labs is the second 50G PON trial Nokia has run globally in the past four months as well as being the first to occur in the US.

Explaining the rationale for their relationship, the firms noted that operators worldwide were currently using fibre to create new opportunities with 25G PON services and that when the need for more speed arises, operators have a path to 50G PON upgrades and beyond.

Nokia claims to be the only technology vendor that can support all next-generation PON options, with 10G and 25G products available today, 50G in trials, and 100G PON as a technology demonstrator.

In the trial, Google Fiber was able to simultaneously run 10/25G PON along with 25/50G PON broadband service over its fibre network. This is said to have showcased the network flexibility and scalability it can deliver to keep pace with the growing demand for multi-gigabit services in the future. Google Fiber launched the first 25G PON commercial services with Nokia in 2023.

“We are always looking for ways to push the capabilities of our fibre network to deliver the best possible experience to our customers,” said Liz Hsu, senior director of product and billing at Google Fiber.

“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.”

With Lightspan fibre access platform, Nokia said that operators can choose a PON solution that meets a specific use case or business need. The company also believes that the 50G PON trial with showcases how Google Fiber is looking at the future and what’s needed for new broadband services that foster innovation and growth.

“Service providers need to be able to select the right technology, based on their needs and business case,” added Geert Heyninck, vice-president of broadband networks at Nokia. “It is why we already offer 10G and 25G today, are trialling 50G, and developing 100G.

“This ultimately leads to a full range of PON technologies that can be mixed and matched on the same platform and the same fibre. Our expansive toolkit of fibre solutions allows Google Fiber to future-proof their network and flexibly address their evolving network demands.”

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