Chunghwa Telecom trials 25G PON technology for small cell fronthaul

Nokia and Chunghwa Telecom Laboratories (CHT-TL) have announced a trial of 25G PON technology for small cell fronthaul.
Chunghwa Telecom 5G businessIn the context of 5G networks, the transport infrastructure that carries mobile traffic from small cell sites to the core is typically divided into fronthaul and backhaul transport. While fiber broadband networks are already being used for backhaul traffic, this trial demonstrates that the same networks, leveraging 25G PON technology, can meet the demanding capacity and low latency requirements of fronthaul transmission.

When operators transition to 5G, the limitations of signal propagation at higher frequencies necessitate the deployment of more antennas to ensure sufficient capacity and coverage. Fronthaul transmission plays a crucial role in connecting these new small cell antennas to the core network.

The trial conducted by CHT-TL showcases that 25G PON broadband effectively satisfies the needs of mobile fronthaul, offering an opportunity for substantial cost savings by consolidating networks instead of constructing expensive new transport routes.

Erik Keith, Senior Research Analyst at S&P Global, hailed the use of PON for mobile fronthaul as a groundbreaking solution for network convergence. He emphasized that the additional capacity provided by 25G PON makes this convergence possible.

Leveraging existing access networks for mobile transport not only allows operators to achieve more with less capital investment but also yields positive financial results, Erik Keith said.

Nokia’s 25G PON technology, powered by the Quillion chipset, significantly enhances the capacity of existing fiber nodes to 25Gb/s. This enables operators to offer additional services such as mobile transport and enterprise connectivity, leading to new revenue streams and cost savings.

Moreover, PON-based transport solutions boast low energy consumption, reducing operating costs and contributing to greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, Nokia said.

Rong-Shy Lin, CTO & Executive Vice President of Chunghwa Telecom Company and President of Chunghwa Telecom Laboratories, emphasized the importance of a stable optical network and a focus on reduced total cost of ownership for successful transport solutions that provide mobile network coverage.

Chunghwa Telecom joins a global list of companies, including industry giants like AT&T and Google Fiber, as well as entities like the city of Chattanooga in the U.S. and challenger brands like Ogi in the UK, who are conducting trials and adopting 25G PON technology.