Optical Connections Magazine and ECOC Exhibition Show Guide



Fibre access has never been as important as it is today. It plays a crucial role, not just in ensuring we can all work, learn, and play from home during lockdowns, but also to connect enterprises, smart cities and 5G cell sites. Many operators see fibre as the single most essential network infrastructure for the entire telecom sector, and this means that fibre must constantly evolve to become faster, smarter, and more efficient, writes Ana Pesovic , head of Nokia fixed networks fibre marketing.

N ext-generation PON deployments are in full swing, and XGS-PON won the latest battle as the technology of choice for Tier 1 operators, smaller competitive service providers, municipalities, and utilities around the world. It has fuelled network convergence, so consumers, businesses and mobile transport services can be delivered over a single fibre infrastructure. But to unlock the ultimate network convergence and deliver any service without compromise, fibre networks need to take the next step and go beyond 10Gbps. They need 25G PON. In October 2020, a group of communication industry operators, system vendors and component vendors announced the 25GS-PON multi-source agreement (25GS-PON MSA) with goals to develop the eco- system and accelerate the 25G PON technology. Multi-source agreements (MSAs) are rare in the world of telecoms, so this represents something of a landmark and certainly a bold statement of intent by the signatories, which include Nokia.

The 25GS-PON MSA stems from a cross-industry conviction that there is an urgency to move beyond 10 Gbps capacity in fibre broadband networks, driven by the need to address the gap between current 10Gbps technologies like XGS-PON and future technologies like 50G PON. As a leader in fibre access, we are proud to be part of the movement. NEAR-TERM NEEDS The first near-term need for 25G PON is enterprise connectivity. With increasing use of bandwidth-hungry video and cloud computing applications, the gold standard for business broadband is currently 10 Gbps. Due to various protocols overhead, 10G PONs can provide at most an 8-9 Gbps symmetric service. That means 10G can currently only be delivered by a dedicated and costly point-to-point fibre connection. The second urgent driver for 25G PON is, of course, 5G. It feels like it has been ages in coming, but 5G deployments are finally accelerating. As they do, mobile operators have realized that providing the transport for 5G small cells over existing fibre-to-the-home networks will enable them to deploy 5G much more quickly

and cost-effectively. However, in dense urban locations where 5G will be in most demand, GPON will not have the capacity to cope and, in some cases, even 10G PON may struggle with the high number of cells and the high throughput. The challenge is increased by the trend in 5G towards distributed or cloud radio access network architectures that create the need for fronthaul and midhaul transport as well as backhaul. These three traffic types, known collectively as mobile anyhaul, require significantly higher capacity and, in the case of fronthaul, much lower latency. 25G PON certainly delivers on the capacity front and, thanks to a Nokia Bell Labs breakthrough with cooperative DBA (CO- DBA), can also provide the low latency required for 5G fronthaul. The evolution of fibre towards symmetrical 25G helps to save money and make money. Routing mobile traffic over an existing PON network reduces total cost of ownership by up to 50% over five years compared to the current default of a dedicated mobile transport network. Greater capacity also creates new revenue opportunities through network sharing. Using software-defined network slicing, a 25G PON network owner can carve out virtual gigabit PON networks for wholesaling.




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