The Saudi Telecom Company (STC) group, in partnership with Huawei, announced the completion of the first 50G Passive Optical Network (PON) trial in the Middle East over a live optical network.
ITU-T officially approved the first version of 50G PON standard in September 2021. Currently, 50G PON is considered as the main standard of next-generation PON technology.
50G PON is capable of delivering enhanced speed and latency required in next-generation applications such as artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), metaverse, and campus networks. It can be used in multiple application scenarios, such as governments, businesses, homes and industrial parks.
For STC, this trial marks another milestone in their longstanding collaboration with Huawei. The service can coexist with 10G PON over STC’s live optical network, proving its stable high throughput and low latency. According to STC officials, it will lay a solid foundation for large-scale deployment of 50G PON in the future.
Bader Allhieb, Vice President of Infrastructure, STC Group, said, “As the digital champion in the Middle East, STC has been active in embracing industry-leading technology solutions to drive digital transformation in the regional level. In partnership with Huawei, we are now laying the foundation for the next generation of connectivity via 50G PON, ensuring that we continue to improve user experience and accelerate digital transformation with leading networks.
Huawei had achieved the first major achievement on 50G PON at Mobile World Congress 2019 with the demonstration of an early prototype. The Chinese equipment vendor believes operators looking to upgrade their PON should upgrade to 50G PON directly instead of 25G PON, as the business benefits are many.
First, 25/50G PON will be a more cost-effective solution for small and medium businesses that cannot afford private lease lines. The higher data rate provided by the 50G network will help operators capture a larger market and their products will have a longer life cycle.
Recently, Huawei also conducted the world’s first 50G PON service verification on Swisscom’s live fiber network, in accordance with the 50G PON technology verification conducted in 2020.
In another recent collaboration with Huawei, STC has developed a SuperLink commercial solution to address the challenges of 5G deployment in suburban areas. With this, a single antenna link can provide 10Gbps bandwidth for traditional bands, reducing the number of antennas by 67% and the amount of hardware by 70%, providing a simplified, high-bandwidth 5G solution for suburban areas, the claims company.