Nokia demos first UK 25G PON for 5G backhaul
Written by: Richard Hook | Published:
25G PON connection box with wires plugged "Nokia 25G PON can co-exist with GPON and XGS-PON to add 25 Gbps in overlay without disrupting existing services" (credit: Nokia)

Nokia has teamed up with full-fibre network operator CityFibre and the Scotland 5G Centre (S5GC) to carry out what the duo claim is the UK’s first successful trial of a 25G passive optical network (PON) to fuel backhaul capacity for a 5G network.

The successful test, which was conducted at S5GC’s University of Glasgow site, used the network for a series of simulations including a holographic call between campus buildings, teleoperation of a robotic arm and 8K video streaming.

Nokia claims that symmetric speed 25G PON is the next step in the evolution of the technology which underpins full fibre broadband and high capacity data networks. The network can “enable the converging of high-end services on a single fibre infrastructure” according to the Finnish telecoms giant.

For the trial, Nokia ran the 25G PON network ran on the same fibre as CityFibre’s existing XGS-PON powered service to demonstrate the ability for the coexistence of multiple wavelengths on the PON which can provide the backhaul for an ultra-low latency 5G mobile network.

Chief executive of Nokia UK, Phil Siveter, said the use of 25G PON will be a “game-changer with mission-critical 5G networks [that are] increasingly requiring more redundancy”.

Nokia has previously worked with OpenReach to test the use of 25G PON to increase download speeds to 25Gbps and to support much faster speeds via Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband networks. The duo plan to also move into field tests of the technology in the year ahead.

According to Nokia, this is the first commercial end-to-end solution for 25G PON, and uses the company's purpose-built Quillion chipset to connect PON hardware including access nodes and line cards.

Matt Yarwood, network architect at CityFibre, said: “Nokia and the University of Glasgow 5G Centre have demonstrated the ease at which CityFibre’s Full Fibre passive optical networks can scale and evolve to meet tomorrow’s technology requirements. This better-by-design approach to digital infrastructure means we can accommodate the low latency backhaul requirements of 4G & 5G mobile operators and enable the development of new and exciting high-bandwidth applications.”

CityFibre recently launched its first 800 Gbps backbone ring as part of its £4bn ‘Gigabit City' investment programme which aims to ensure that 8 million premises across the UK are covered by their FTTP broadband network by the end of 2025.

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