Nokia flexes 100G muscle at Fiber Connect

It’s true that 10G is all the rage right now when it comes to residential broadband, but Nokia is showing off what could be the top PON technology of tomorrow at this week’s Fiber Connect conference. Specifically, it plans to demonstrate a 100G network prototype in the conference’s proof-of-concept zone.

Nokia is a key supplier of 10G technology today and already offers a system based on its Quillion chipset which is upgradable to 25G. But a company executive told Fierce in September it is also working to develop 50G and 100G technology.

The vendor said in a press release the prototype it is showcasing is capable of delivering 100 Gbps downstream over a single PON wavelength. The setup for its demonstration is configured to simulate real-world conditions related to fiber distances and power splits.

“Today, fiber can already deliver 10G and 25G speeds. 50G will be available in the second half of this decade. With this proof-of-concept demo, we show that 100G is already within reach; all with the fiber network infrastructure that is being built today,” Nokia Fixed Networks CTO Stefaan Vanhastel said in a statement.

Indeed, this isn’t the first time Nokia has offered a glimpse of its work on 100G. In February 2021, Nokia and Vodafone announced the completion of a PON trial which yielded speeds of up to 100 Gbps over a single wavelength. That trial used a combination of 25G optics and advanced digital signal processing (DSP) techniques.

At the time, Nokia said adoption of the DSP technology it used in the trial will open the door to commercial availability of 50G and 100G “in the second half of the decade.”

In October 2021, analyst firm Strategy Analytics tipped operators to begin deploying 50G in 2023. But in a blog posted earlier this month, Nokia noted the current 50G standard does not allow for co-existence with GPON and XGS-PON, which could hinder rollouts.

CableLabs launched a project to develop specifications for 100G single wavelength PON in April 2021. It is unclear if 100G will face the same hurdle as 50G.