Vodafone and Nokia show off superfast 100Gbps broadband upgrade

Optical fiber
(Image credit: Pixabay)

Vodafone and Nokia have successfully completed lab trials of a new Passive Optical Network (PON) technology that could deliver broadband speeds of 100Gbps across Europe by the end of the decade.

PON is used for the last mile of a broadband connection, linking businesses and households (along with mobile infrastructure) to the wider Internet.

This essentially describes the fibre connection between a house, cabinet, and exchange.

Vodafone Nokia 100G PON

The technology used by Nokia and Vodafone’s engineers, predictably called 100G PON, uses just a single optical wavelength and is based on modular architecutre. This means upgrades can be applied incrementally and without the need to dig up streets.

The two companies claim the advances in speed could enable futuristic applications akin to ‘teleportation over the Internet’.

It is thought the healthcare, education, retail and leisure industries could be particularly interested in the technology, while it could transform human communication. For example, it could be possible to touch or smell an object remotely using sensory technology or share a meal with a 3D holographic family member. Businesses will also benefit from enhanced bandwidth to support their needs.

While 100G PON won’t be available for several years, Vodafone is already rolling out 10G PON across its European footprint. Openreach is doing the same with its full fibre network in the UK.

“Today’s technological breakthrough supports Vodafone’s strategy to prepare our African and European networks to meet the inevitable growth in demand for faster, more responsive and immersive Internet services,” said Johan Wilbergh, Vodafone CTO.

“We continue to focus on the current needs of customers like extending broadband to rural communities, supporting working and learning from home, and equipping smart factories, all while keeping an eye on the future.”

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.