BERLIN — Nokia unveiled its Wireless PON solution, allowing operators to bring gigabit services to customers using WiGig wireless technology, eliminating the need to bring fiber all the way to a home or building.
With the number of gigabit subscribers expected to hit upwards of 65 million by 2022 operators have to rapidly evolve their access networks to better meet consumer demand. Increasingly this requires bringing fiber to the most economical point, with multi-technology strategies — combinations of both fiber and DSL — being used to quickly roll out and deliver new ultra-broadband services. However, there are areas where bringing fiber all the way to the home or building may not be feasible or cost-effective. To make the business case work, operators are turning to fixed-wireless access technologies that are becoming commercially viable due to recent progress made in wireless technology.
Fiber to the Neighborhood
Nokia's Wireless PON solution is helping to drive this change, integrating Nokia's passive optical network (PON) technology with WiGig, a high-speed, 60 GHz standard otherwise known as 802.11ad. Easily mounted to telephone poles, street lights or a building facade, the solution uses beamforming to bring connections of up to 1 Gbps to Nokia WPON home units located up to 300 meters away on the outside of a building or home. With the ability to connect multiple access points in a row or create a meshed network, operators can now bring fiber to a street corner or neighborhood instead of a building and avoid the costs of adding subscribers.
Renewed Interest in Fixed Wireless Access
Julie Kunstler, principal analyst, Ovum's Next-gen Infrastructure Practice said, "The push for broadband connectivity in underserved and remote rural areas, and the need to fill gaps in urban and suburban wireline broadband coverage, are creating renewed interest in the use of fixed wireless access (FWA). Solutions like Nokia's WPON help operators competitively service target areas, whether in urban, suburban or rural locations. With Nokia's WPON, operators can quickly connect new subscribers and easily transition them to higher-value FTTP-based services in the future."
Alternative FTTx Options
"Multi-technology strategies are key to helping operators quickly roll out new ultra-broadband services to more people,"said Federico Guillén, president of Nokia's Fixed Networks Business Group. "Leveraging advancements made in today's wireless technologies, we're demonstrating how operators can use a wireless drop alternative to effectively deliver fiber-like speeds to customers. Nokia's new Wireless PON solution will introduce FTTx options that operators can use to enhance the way customers experience their broadband services. With a strong portfolio across all FTTx technologies including fiber, DSL, cable and wireless, Nokia has the experience it takes to deliver these multi-technology broadband networks and make the business case work."
The Wireless PON solution, part of Nokia's Intelligent Access vision, is one of several FWA technologies — like FastMile and 5G to the home — that Nokia is bringing to market. The solution underlines how Nokia is working with operators to deploy faster, better and smarter networks.