Türk Telekom and ZTE trial 50G PON, but commercial deployment is not imminent

Türk Telekom and ZTE have carried out a 50G PON trial in Turkey.  The two firms announced that their trial delivered speeds in excess of 50 Gbps in the downstream over a single fiber and did so in a way that was compatible with existing PON generations already deployed in Türk Telekom’s network.  The PON technologies used were GPON and XGS-PON – the latter offering 10 Gbps symmetrical speeds – technologies alongside 50G PON.

“This interoperability significantly expands the OLT’s potential applications, paving the way for future services such as ultra-high bandwidth access, mobile xHaul, and deterministic campus networks in both home and enterprise environments,” ZTE said.

Yong Jie, CEO of ZTE Türkiye, said: “At the MWC 2022, ZTE unveiled the world’s first precise 50G PON prototype. In 2022, the 50G PON standard was finalized and received wide attention in the industry. It is expected that by 2025, the 50G PON industry chain will be ready for commercialization. As a frontrunner in the transformative journey to 50G PON, ZTE is pleased to empower Türk Telekom to accelerate the realization of their vision to provide unparalleled connectivity solutions to customers across Türkiye.”

In February, ZTE introduced the industry’s first symmetric 50G PON ONU, ZXEN G300-N9, featuring a 50G Ethernet optical port and seamless integration with the symmetric 50G PON Combo line card to meet high-speed access needs for government and enterprise campuses.


Mehmet Beytur, Support Services and Procurement Management Assistant General Manager of Türk Telekom, said:

“As Türk Telekom, we are at the forefront of our country’s digital transformation, constantly spearheading innovative projects. Our successful collaboration with ZTE on the 3-in-1 50G PON Combo trial exemplifies this commitment. We will continue to take pioneering steps in innovative solutions.”


However, 50G PON commercial deployment is not imminent as 25G PON is what’s being rolled out now by fiber facilities based telcos.  Network operators have repeatedly indicated that they do not want to disrupt their optical distribution networks (ODNs) by moving to a new technology too quickly.

There are a number of technological barriers to 50G PON, one of which is alluded to in the ZTE announcement: while 50G PON can offer 50 Gbps-plus downstream speeds, it is not yet symmetrical, uplink speeds being half that or less.

Nonetheless, the trial is an important step in the ongoing development of 50G PON, even if future deployments are perhaps further away than the vendor community might like.

Dell’Oro pointed out that the coexistence of 50G PON with previous PON generations, and the implementation of combo PON, will be critical to the successful rollout of the technology.  The analyst firm noted that “much more significant growth is expected after 2027, as operators begin to evolve their 10Gbps PON networks to next-generation technologies.”






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One thought on “Türk Telekom and ZTE trial 50G PON, but commercial deployment is not imminent

  1. The access speed of PON over a single wavelength has increased almost 100 times, and each generational upgrade in PON technology — expected every 8 to 10 years — is driven by the constant increase in bandwidth demand.

    As more high-throughput, low-latency and high-availability services emerge, PON technology becomes a core element in building the gigabit society that is being deployed in most countries. The massive deployment of Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) from 2010–2020 was followed by 10G-PON from 2020 until the present.

    Because users want greater broadband access speed, network operators have been upgrading to 10 Gigabit-capable Passive Optical Networks (XGS-PON) to provide faster Gigabit broadband service. By the end of 2021, nearly 10 million 10G-PON OLT ports had been deployed worldwide. Whereas in 2022, XGS-PON OLT port shipments had increased by 2231%, jumping from over 30,000 in 2019 to almost 750,000 by 2022.

    10G-PON’s industry chain has already matured. In terms of standards, the ITU’s 10G GPON asymmetric 10G/2.5G started commercialization in 2012, while the symmetric 10G GPON 10G/10G 2016 standard began commercialization in 2017.

    In September 2021, the ITU-T officially published the first version of the 50G-PON standard. This includes technical specifications that support asymmetric rates and two generations of coexistence (10G-PON or GPON). A year later, the ITU-T added the technical specifications of the symmetric 50G-PON (50Gb/s in downstream and upstream) and the coexistence support for three generations (50G-PON, 10G-PON and GPON).

    The 50G TDM-PON and 10G-PON coexistence evolution upgrade support smooth upgrading, with the implementation methods divided into two schemes: MPM dual-mode (built-in wave combining component) and external wave combining.

    50G-PON: Benefits and Use Cases

    The 50G-PON system capitalizes on the enhancements of optical transceiver components and introduces key innovations in activation procedures, contention-based operation and expanded cryptographic features — meeting the new and demanding requirements of the digital era.

    The HSP project expands the capabilities of ITU-T PON beyond those of previous generations by increasing the line rate as well as enhancing its robustness and efficiency, while crucially supporting coexistence with installed deployments.

    The 50G-PON systems support a continued and accelerated growth in user data traffic, which, combined with 5G wireless transport, increases and enables new applications such as smart power grids, industrial manufacturing and autonomous vehicles.

    The PON technology is developing in various directions, one of which is all-optical access, where fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) is being upgraded to provide gigabit bandwidth in all corners. In FTTH construction, 80% of the total investment goes to the optical distribution network (ODN). The introduction of new technologies such as 50G-PON helps maximize this investment. To address this, Huawei’s 50G-PON solution features major innovations.

    During MWC 2023, Huawei released the industry’s first commercial 50G-PON solution for ultra-broadband access, with optical modules increasing the following: transmit power by 4.5 times, photon absorption rate to nearly 100% and optical power budget by 25%.

    Huawei’s 50G-PON optical modules also enable existing ODNs to carry new services by using innovative cell-level tapered amplifiers and superlattice reflection structures.

    Ensuring a smooth service upgrade, Huawei’s 50G-PON optical modules are reduced by 40%, thanks to the unique high-precision angular multiplexing/demultiplexing and multi-component integrated chip technologies and one port that supports all three PON working modes — GPON, 10G-PON and 50G-PON.

    Another direction is an all-optical campus where passive optical LAN (POL) technology replaces traditional Ethernet switches to implement fiber-to-conference room, fiber-to-camera, fiber-to-office desk and fiber-to-machine connections.

    Huawei has gone all-in on 50G-PON, having demonstrated an early prototype at MWC 2019 based on mature 25G optical components that delivered 50-Gbps transmission over a single wavelength via physical PON links designed with fiber dispersion and transmitter/receiver bandwidth compensation technologies.

    A 50G-PON system can accommodate four 10 Gbps carrier Ethernet services, or one 25 Gbps service plus one 10 Gbps service, and complements other enterprise-heavy technologies, such as SD-WAN, massive machine vision and virtualized CPE.

    50G-PON is also ideal for backhauling applications for emerging and future Wi-Fi scenarios like public hotspots and private wireless LANs. Small cell backhaul is a growing use case for 50G-PON, which can be seen for in-building small cells, such as in factories, shopping malls and airports.

    Another vendor that is actively investing in and continuously advancing the industrialization of 50G-PON is ZTE. During MWC 2023, the company unveiled a three-mode Combo-PON product solution that supports the three generations of PON technologies with the same ODN through an independent wavelength stacking mechanism. This solves problems such as high construction costs, large space occupation in central offices, complex optical fiber cabling and difficult O&M during the PON evolution journey.


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