Nokia Bell Labs has only gone and found a way to deliver 100 Gbps on a single Passive Optical Network wavelength.

The new tech has been put through its paces for the first time by Vodafone in Germany, where they presumably downloaded the 8K version of War and Peace in one nanosecond. The specifics involved using 25G optics in combination with shiny, new signal processing (DSP) techniques, which is where the magic happens.

“Optical innovations pioneered by Nokia Bell Labs, like shaping, are widely adopted by the industry,” said Peter Vetter, Head of Access and Devices Research, Nokia Bell Labs. “For the first time, we show a unique flexible rate capability that allows optimizing capacity depending on the link losses and low-cost optical component capabilities in an optical network termination.”

“100G PON has 40 times the capacity of today’s GPON networks, and 10 times the capacity of XGS-GPON, so it will help us keep ahead of the demand curve,” said Gavin Young, Vodafone’s Head of Fixed Access Centre of Excellence.  “In addition to ultra-high speeds, the technology supports our vision of highly efficient and adaptable next-generation networks. 100G PON enables flexible rates, and works by grouping modems using a technique similar to the one we already use in our cable networks, so this experience can help us to better evaluate and exploit this new PON technology.”

“We keep pushing the potential of fiber access so that capacity stays ahead of the unrelenting demand of the connected world,” said Stefaan Vanhastel, CTO of Nokia’s Fixed Networks Division. “In 2020, we launched the first commercial 25G PON solution. Now, we’re delighted to show state-of-the-art 100G technology together with Vodafone. These breakthroughs in speed turn an existing fiber-to-the-home network into a fiber network that can connect homes, businesses, remote cable nodes and 5G small cells.”

The 5G aspect could be the most interesting part of this. Nobody really needs 1 Gbps, let alone 100, but history has shown we always find a way of using increased bandwidth and computing power. Once we get to a point where there are loads of mmWave 5G small cells beaming VR into our brains, they’ll need some pretty hefty backhaul, which is when these fattest of pipes will come into play.



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