BT Openreach, Huawei conduct 10, 40 Gbps PON trial on single fiber

Openreach superfast broadband
Image: BT / Openreach

BT’s Openreach division, in partnership with Huawei, conducted a demonstration of 40 G, 10G and 2.5G speeds delivered simultaneously over a single fiber cable, a move that will illustrate the utility of next-gen fiber to the premises (FTTP) architectures.

Leveraging a FTTP connection running between the University of Suffolk, Ipswich Exchange and BT’s R&D Central at Adastral Park, BT and Huawei specifically tested 40G NG-PON2, 10G XGS-PON and 2.5G GPON technologies.

Having already been using the service for the past two weeks, the University of Suffolk expects to use the high bandwidth for streaming lectures, designing games, and delivering online courses, amongst other services during the next phase of testing.

Today, BT said that it can offer maximum speeds of up to 330 Mbps to customers via a single fiber transmitting 2.5 Gbps of capacity, which is then shared between each customer.

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What’s interesting about this trial is that BT is demonstrating how it could potentially deliver 40 and 10 Gbps over one fiber to satisfy future broadband needs.

Each of the different technologies use separate wavelengths, meaning that all three can operate or coexist on the same fiber network. BT said this demonstrates not only how operators can flex to meet ultrafast speeds in the future, but also the capability of Openreach’s network.

Service providers in the United States like AT&T, Verizon and CenturyLink, all of which are various stages of deploying FTTP in their network footprints, will likely be looking at the results of this trial to see how they could apply it in their own roll outs.

FTTP technology is just one of several technologies BT has in its broadband arsenal. The telco plans to make “ultrafast” speeds available to as many as 12 million premises by the end of 2020, using a mixture of FTTP and technologies.

Clive Selley, CEO of Openreach, said in a release that in the process of reaching its broadband goals “it’s also vital that we continue to look even further into the future, and prepare for increasing data consumption over our network” and that’s “what this trial is all about.”