South Korea is renowned as a technology trailblazer, so it should come as no surprise that the country is first to deploy the newest generation of passive optical network (PON) technology.
In partnership with optical equipment supplier Nokia, SK Broadband has provided the fastest fibre access speeds ever to selected customers in a set of apartment buildings in Seoul, South Korea, reaching aggregate speeds of 52.5Gb/s.
To do this, SK Broadband combined multiple PON technologies on a single fibre, including NG-PON2 (also referred to as TWDM-PON) with 40Gb/s symmetrical data transmission, XGS-PON offering 10Gb/s symmetrical speeds and GPON at 2.5Gb/s downstream.
Nokia’s universal PON platform, which supports all three technologies, takes advantage of the fact that the latest standard, NG-PON2, was designed to be backwards compatible with its predecessors. The three standards use different wavelengths.
This approach allows SK Broadband to maximise its investments in infrastructure and equipment, by overlaying the newer technologies on its existing GPON network (see our feature Stacking the odds in favour of PON).
The hardware used inside the apartment buildings was developed in partnership with HFR, a prominent Korean vendor of wired and wireless network equipment, Nokia said
South Korea has set clear strategic goals to have gigabit broadband available to all citizens by 2020. According to the Pacific Telecommunications Council, already more than 55 per cent of households in South Korea receive broadband over fibre to the home or fibre to the building connections.
Federico Guillen, president of Nokia's fixed networks group, commented: “All eyes in the world are focused on South Korea as it moves ahead with rolling out ever-faster broadband networks. Nokia's innovation edge and our portfolio of next-generation fibre technologies help customers like SK Broadband realise the true gigabit societies of the future.”
Nokia says it is currently taking part in more than 55 trials of its universal fibre access platform, which supports NGPON, XGS-PON and TWDM-PON (also known as NG-PON2) technologies.