Openreach and Nokia test the next generation of ‘Full Fibre’ broadband technology
- Successful test conducted at Openreach’s Adastral Park lab in Ipswich, UK
- Openreach to launch field trial in December 2021
- Trials prove that current GPON and XGS-PON broadband technologies and future upgrades to 25G PON will work together seamlessly
Openreach and Nokia have conducted the UK’s first ever tests of a new ‘Full Fibre’ technology, which could deliver ultra-reliable broadband services that are ten times faster than today’s UK standard deployments.
The cutting edge ‘25G PON’ technology, pioneered by Nokia, can deliver download speeds of 25 gigabits per second over a single optical fibre, and it can run on the same underlying infrastructure that Openreach is already building across the UK. This means that, with further field trials to test compatibility with existing technologies*, the companies could develop an even wider range of services and speeds for the UK’s Communications Providers to offer consumers and businesses in the future – allowing them to upgrade customers quickly, smoothly and without any disruption.
Peter Bell, Director, Network Technology at Openreach said: “As the country’s largest digital infrastructure provider, it’s crucial that we continue to plan, innovate and evolve our network, to make sure we have the capacity and capabilities that the UK needs in the future.
“The Full Fibre network we’re building today is going to be the platform for the UK’s economic, social and environmental prosperity, and these trials prove that we can keep upgrading the speeds and services our customers experience over that network for decades to come.”
Emir Halilovic, Principal Analyst at Global Data, said: “25G PON is market ready and is becoming the technology of choice with operators that need faster than 10 Gbps broadband speeds along with the flexibility to grow capacity in the future. Being a symmetrical technology, 25G PON provides operators with technology capable of supporting SME or enterprise connectivity, as well as 5G transport.”
Sandy Motley, President Nokia Fixed Networks said: “The key to unlock the virtually unlimited capacity that fibre offers is to develop new generations of fibre technology – and faster chips. Nokia’s Quillion chip allows us to have a solution that supports three generations of PON technology from a single platform that is already in the Openreach network. Having GPON, XGS-PON and 25GS-PON all on the same fibre means Openreach can efficiently evolve the network capabilities, address new opportunities and connect more consumers, businesses and 5G cell sites.”
Having already tested the 25G PON technology at Openreach’s Adastral Park lab in Ipswich, UK, the two companies plan to launch a field trial by the end of 2021. The trial will put the technology through its paces using a range of bandwidth-hungry applications.
Nokia expects 25G speeds to be used by operators to extend their Full Fibre networks beyond residential use into enterprises. The technology can even be used by operators for 5G backhaul which becomes important as 5G networks become pervasive and require small cells to be deployed in areas of dense traffic.
Openreach is building ultrafast, ultra-reliable Full Fibre broadband to 43K premises every week and continues to accelerate to reach 25 million premises all over the UK by end of December 2026.
Openreach Limited is the UK’s digital network business.
We’re more than 35,000 people, working in every community to connect homes, schools, shops, banks, hospitals, libraries, mobile phone masts, broadcasters, governments and businesses – large and small – to the world.
Our mission is to build the best possible network, with the highest quality service, making sure that everyone in the UK can be connected.
We work on behalf of more than 665 communications providers like BT, SKY, TalkTalk, Vodafone, and Zen, and our broadband network is the biggest in the UK, passing more than 31.8m premises.
Over the last decade we’ve invested more than £15 billion into our network and, at more than 190 million kilometres – it’s now long enough to wrap around the world 4,798 times.
Today we’re building an even faster, more reliable and future-proof broadband network which will be the UK’s digital platform for decades to come. We’re making progress towards our full fibre optic network target to reach 25 million premises by December 2026. Research shows a nationwide Full Fibre network could potentially provide a £59bn boost to UK productivity.
To help build the new fibre network and deliver better service across the country – we’ve created and filled more than 9,000 apprenticeship roles in the last two years and we’re recruiting another 1,000 trainee roles in Openreach in 2021. We’re also building greener – we operate the UK’s second largest commercial fleet and want to help lead the transition to electric vehicles, with a target to transition our fleet to being electric in 2030.
Openreach is a highly regulated, wholly owned, and independently governed unit of the BT Group. More than 90 per cent of our revenues come from services that are regulated by Ofcom and any company can access our products under equivalent prices, terms and conditions.
For the year ended 31 March 2021, we reported revenue of £5,244m.
For more information, visit www.openreach.co.uk