light waves internet cable broadband

New broadband tech enables 25 gigabits on existing infrastructure

Image credit: DT

Openreach and Nokia have conducted tests on a new ‘Full Fibre’ technology that can deliver download speeds up to 25 gigabits per second.

Currently, the fastest speeds available to consumers top out around 1 gigabit, and even these speeds are only scantly available in the UK.

The ‘25G PON’ technology 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 the technology could be rolled out relatively easily and quickly allowing consumers and businesses to upgrade without disruption.

While the technology has been tested at Openreach’s Adastral Park lab in Ipswich, Nokia and Openreach plan to launch a field trial by the end of 2021 that will more clearly demonstrate how easily it can be integrated into current infrastructure.

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.

Peter Bell, Openreach’s network technology director, 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.”

Openreach is currently ramping up its full fibre broadband rollout, reaching around 43,000 additional premises every week. It is planning to ultimately hook up 25 million premises all over the UK by end of December 2026.

Earlier this month, Japanese scientists managed to break data transmission records by achieving speeds of 319 terabits per second in lab settings using a coupled three-core optical fibre.

Sign up to the E&T News e-mail to get great stories like this delivered to your inbox every day.

Recent articles