Australian broadband operator ponders nextgen PON

Created April 24, 2017
Applications and Research

Australia’s National Broadband Network (nbn) has partnered with Nokia to trial new NG-PON2 fibre technology as a means of delivering symmetrical speeds of 10 Gbits/s to its Fibre To The Premises (FTTP) end-user buildings. This is ten times faster than the current nbn top FTTP speeds of 1 Gbits/s.

In tandem with technologies such as or XG.FAST, a future deployment of NG-PON2 could also benefit end-users connected to retail services over nbn’s Fibre To The Basement (FTTB) and Fibre To The Curb (FTTC) networks. Additionally, it could provide extra capacity in the fibre that supports nbn’s HFC and fixed wireless networks.

During trials in Melbourne NG-PON2 delivered “extraordinary” peak trial lab speeds of 102 Gbits/s. This was generated from: 40 Gbits/s symmetrical speeds on Time and Wavelength Division Multiplexing (TWDM-PON) technology;10 Gbits/s symmetrical on XGS-PON; and a further 2.5 Gbits/s on nbn’s current Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) technology.

nbn is presently offering wholesale maximum speeds of up to 1 Gbits/s to retail service providers, and expects its current GPON-based FTTP network to be available to up to 2.5 million premises by 2020.

Using new TWDM technology, which supports between 4 and 8 wavelengths on a single fibre, NG-PON2 is expected to deliver initial symmetrical speeds on FTTP up to 10 Gbits/s, and potentially well beyond as the technology develops.

nbn Chief Technology Officer, Dennis Steiger commented: “The NG-PON2 trials we have conducted with Nokia have shown us the huge potential this very exciting technology has in terms of helping us deliver on future consumer demand for data at speed.”

John Williamson

John Williamson

This article was written
by John Williamson

John Williamson is a freelance telecommunications, IT and military communications journalist. He has also written for national and international media, and been a telecoms advisor to the World Bank.