NBN to roll out faster multi-gigabit speed fibre tech under Nokia deal

NBN and Nokia fibre technology announcement
Pictured from left to right: Finnish Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari, Nokia chief customer experience officer, NBN chief executive officer Stephen Rue, and Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin, at the new fibre technology announcement.

Readying Australia’s digital backbone for multi-gigabit speeds, NBN Co has selected Nokia’s faster, more flexible and more energy-efficient fibre optic technology to help it address Australia’s future broadband needs.

The deal will see NBN deploy Nokia’s latest MF series Optical Line Terminals (MF-14) and the Altiplano Access Controller. Together they offer a significant increase in flexibility and the ability to support higher-capacity broadband technologies such as XGS PON, 25GS PON, 50G PON and beyond.

The technology is also more energy efficient, helping NBN meet its Towards-Zero Carbon Ambition by decreasing the overall power consumption of the network.

Nokia, a Finland-based company, has worked with NBN Co for more than a decade. Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin and Finnish MP Ville Skinnari were present for the announcement, alongside Nokia’s chief customer experience officer, Ricky Corker.

“Using Nokia’s advanced fibre technology coupled with our network optimization and automation capabilities, Nokia and NBN can meet customer demand for a faster, smarter, greener broadband network today and well into the future,” Corker said.

Deployment of the technology will begin in 2023, with NBN the first operator to deploy it in the Southern Hemisphere. It will allow NBN to move beyond today’s wholesale residential gigabit speeds to offer multi-gigabit residential speeds across the Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) network. 

NBN and Nokia Lightspan MF-14 fibre technology
Nokia’s MF-14 technology

The partnership complements a 10-year agreement recently secured for the supply of Nokia’s next-gen Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) for the NBN fixed-wireless upgrade program, which will help extend reach and capability as well as support the introduction of two new high-speed tiers. 

In November, the NBN network reached a record peak rate of 22.35 terabits per second downstream traffic, which is expected to increase up to 100 terabits per second in the next ten years.

The Australian Government recently committed to an additional $2.4 billion to roll out more fibre to communities across Australia. This new investment will enable an additional 1.5 million homes and businesses currently served by Fibre to the Node (FTTN) to upgrade to FTTP.

Coupled with the additional homes and businesses connected by fibre, NBN is evolving the FTTP technology platform to enable higher-speed services. Recent lab evaluations from the company successfully tested 25 gigabits per second FTTP technology, capable of 10 times the existing infrastructure’s download capacity.

More than 8.5 million households and businesses are connected to services over the NBN network, equating to approximately 20 million people relying on the network every day, says NBN chief executive officer Stephen Rue.

“By leading the deployment of this next-generation technology, we can help meet our nation’s data demands now and into the future,” Rue said.

“Together with our network investment that is pushing fibre deeper into communities and extending fixed-wireless and satellite coverage and capabilities, we are helping unlock social and economic benefits for households, businesses and communities across Australia.”

The announcement comes days after the Productivity Commission released a report finding that NBN Co’s accumulated losses would be $25 billion by 2040. A major factor is believed to be the Coalition government’s decision to use a combination of copper and cable TV infrastructure instead of a full fibre rollout.

Read more internet and NBN news on GadgetGuy