Ooredoo Qatar is first operator in the world to deploy 50G PON

Ooredoo Qatar announced that it has become the first operator in the world to deploy 50G PON (Passive Optical Network) connectivity, the 50 Gbps-capable fiber-based access connection for consumers. According to Ooredoo, the 50G PON technology, which has been adopted as an ITU standard, delivers fiber-based access connections with speeds of up to 50 Gbps on a single connection.

The 50G-PON system capitalizes on fundamental advances in the optical transceiver components working in conjunction with enhanced error correction and coding. It also introduces key innovations in activation procedures, contention-based operation, and expanded cryptographic features. With these improved capabilities, the 50G-PON system is ready to meet the new, and demanding, requirements of emerging services.

This new technology enables consumers to use high-bandwidth latency-sensitive applications such as 8k-interactive video applications, online collaboration and coordination solutions, 3D cloud design, high-graphic/high-quality AI applications, etc.

Dell’Oro Group believes total 50G-PON equipment revenue will increase from less than $3M in 2023 to $1.5B in 2027. Much more significant growth is expected after 2027, as operators begin to evolve their 10Gbps PON networks to next-generation technologies.

Sheikh Ali Bin Jabor Al Thani, Chief Executive Officer, Ooredoo Qatar, said: “We’re proud to be the first operator globally capable of deploying such powerful technology, which aligns perfectly with our overarching aim of upgrading our customers’ worlds. We have long had a strategic commitment to partnering with global leaders in technology and innovation, enabling us to leverage both our expertise and experience and our partners’ capabilities. This latest launch is an excellent example of the benefits we, and our customers, enjoy as a result of such partnerships. We look forward to further enhancing our offering as technology develops ever further in the years to come.”

Ooredoo’s 50G PON technology can meet the bandwidth requirements of both consumers and enterprises. Initial deployment will be for B2B customers and areas that require high-speed connectivity, with roll-out to consumers – for 8k content and AR/VR gaming, as an example – to follow.

ITU-T standards for 50G PON:

In April 2021, the ITU-T reached a major mile-stone, consenting the first three Recommendations defining a 50G PON system:

  • General Requirements (G.9804.1): The legacy features linked to deployed fiber infra-structure are complemented by support for new services requiring high capacity, efficiency, low latency, and security. Coexistence with, and migration from, the installed PON systems are essential.
  • Common Transmission Convergence Layer (ComTC) specification (G.9804.2): This is defined in a line rate agnostic way and thus applicable to future single-wavelength time-division multiplexing (TDM) and multi-wavelength time-and-wavelength-divi-sion multiplexing (TWDM) PON systems.
  • The single-wavelength 50G-PON PMD (G.9804.3) specification is the first in the HS-PON PMD family.




50G PON Moves Closer to Deployment




Swisscom tests 50G PON technology on a live network

State-owned network provider Swisscom has begun testing 50G PON technology in the live network of an unnamed Swiss municipality, after putting it through its paces in a laboratory in 2020 – the first telco in the world to do so, it claims. Swisscom believes 50G PON will lead to increased flexibility for its business customers, facilitating, for example, additional security features.

Swisscom claims that “50G-PON will lead to a new kind of flexibility in high-speed connectivity, chiefly for business customers, paving the way for additional security service features or connection service attributes. For example, the technology significantly reduces latency compared to today’s standards, and guaranteed transmission speeds can be defined by network slicing (NOTE: network slicing requires a 5G SA Core network and is not intended for fiber optics networks). These are just a few examples that, thanks to 50G-PON, can be included in considerations for new products and services aligned to business customer requirements in the coming years.”

Swisscom plans to introduce the technology by 2025 at the latest. PON technologies can be used in both point-to-point and point-to-multipoint networks. The passive splitter is placed in a point-to-point network rather than in the cable conduit at the control center.

Photo credit: Swisscom