NBN considers roll-out of NG-PON2

Trials at Nokia lab see peak aggregate speeds of 102Gbps

NBN sees potential in NG-PON2 (Next-Generation Passive Optical Network 2) as means to deliver on its future bandwidth and capacity requirements, the company’s CTO said today.

The company said a future deployment of NG-PON2 could benefit end users connected to retail services over it's Fibre-to-the-Basement (FTTB) and Fibre-to-the-Curb (FTTC) networks, and provide extra capacity in the fibre that supports NBN's HFC and Fixed Wireless networks.

NBN has been testing Nokia's universal NG-PON2 fibre solution at Nokia's lab facility in Melbourne. During trials the technology delivered peak aggregate speeds of 102Gbps on a single fibre, generated from 40Gbps symmetrical speeds on Time and Wavelength Division Multiplexing technology, 10Gbps symmetrical on XGS-PON and a further 2.5Gbps on NBN’s current Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) technology.

The company said the trials had demonstrated the dynamic provisioning of bandwidth “to support surging data demand from residential and business customers”.

"Our successful trial of NG-PON2 technology with Nokia is another example of our ongoing commitment to continually develop the capabilities and speed of the NBN network. 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 our future bandwidth and capacity requirements," said Dennis Steiger, NBN CTO.

Universal NG-PON converges TWDM-PON (also known as NG-PON2), XGS-PON and GPON (Gigabit Passive Optical Network) technology on the same fibre, and provides a simple upgrade path from current fibre technology used in FTTP deployments.

Easily deployed as an overlay on existing fibre networks, TWDM-PON and XGS-PON can save the time and additional cost that typically comes with laying new fibre, Nokia said. TWDM-PON provides four or more wavelengths on a fibre, each capable of supporting asymmetrical or symmetrical bit rates of 2.5Gbps or 10Gbps for a total of 40Gbps. XGS-PON uses one wavelength to provide either 10Gbps symmetrical or asymmetrical bit rates.

“With the ability to significantly expand the data capacity delivered, TWDM-PON could allow customers to download a 2-hour, 4K-quality video in seconds. With the use of advanced software, the technology can also enable the dynamic provision of data capacity on the network, giving operators like NBN new options to flexibly meet changing user needs,” a statement from Nokia said.

Demand surge

The average household connected to the National Broadband Network is churning through 148 gigabytes of data every month, NBN said last month. The figure represents a 32 per cent increase compared to 2016 and driven by growth in the popularity of over the top video streaming services, the company explained.

“NBN is a valued and long-term customer, and we are committed to bringing our latest innovations to them and the country of Australia," said Ray Owen, head of Oceania at Nokia. “The trial of our universal NG-PON solution reflects that commitment, and demonstrates how we can help evolve NBN's network now and in the long term to meet the increasing data demand of subscribers across the country."

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