STC, Huawei complete the first 50G PON live trial in the Middle East

Huawei STC 50G PON

The Saudi Telecom Company (STC) Group, in partnership with Huawei, has announced the completion of the first 50G Passive Optical Network (PON) trial in the Middle East on a live optical network.

ITU-T officially approved the first version of the 50G PON standard in September 2021. Currently, 50G PON has been considered as the mainstream standard of the next-generation PON technology.

50G PON is capable of delivering upgraded speed and latency required in next-gen applications like artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), metaverse and campus networks. It can be used in several application scenarios, such as governments, enterprises, homes, and industrial parks.

For STC, this trial marks yet another milestone in their long-standing collaboration with Huawei.  The service can coexist with the 10G PON on STC’s live optical network, proving its stable high rate and low latency. It will lay the solid foundations for large-scale deployment of 50G PON in the future, according to STC officials.

Bader Allhieb, Infrastructure VP of STC Group, said, “As a digital champion in the Middle East, STC has been active in adopting the industry’s leading technology solutions to drive digital transformation regionally. In partnership with Huawei, we are now laying the foundations for the next-generation of connectivity via 50G PON, ensuring we continue to improve user experience and accelerate digital transformation with leading networks.”

Huawei had achieved the first major feat 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 jump straight to 50G PON instead of moving to 25G because the commercial benefits are many.

Firstly, 25/50G PON will be more cost effective solutions for small and mid-size businesses that can’t afford private lease lines. The highest data rate delivered by 50G network will help operators capture larger market and their products will have longer lifecycle.

Recently Huawei also conducted the world’s first 50G PON service verification on Swisscom’s live fiber network, in pursuant to the 50G PON technology verification conducted in 2020.

In another recent collaboration with Huawei, STC built a commercial SuperLink solution to address the challenges with 5G deployment in suburban areas. With this, a single-antenna link can provide a 10 Gbps bandwidth for traditional bands, reducing the number of  antennas by 67 percent and the amount of hardware by 70 percent, providing a simplified and large-bandwidth 5G solution for suburban areas, the company claims.