BT Puts ZTE's XGPON to Work

UK trial checks out 10Gbit/s broadband potential with gear from Chinese vendor

November 23, 2012

2 Min Read
BT Puts ZTE's XGPON to Work

BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) says it's testing a 10Gbit/s broadband service on its live network in the U.K. using technology from ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763).

An engineering firm called Arcol, based in Cornwall, the most south-westerly county in England, is the customer in a "proof of concept trial" that's using XGPON access equipment developed by ZTE in collaboration with BT's access network division Openreach .

XGPON is otherwise known as XG-PON 1 or 10GPON, which was ratified as the G.987 standard by the International Telecommunication Union, Standardization Sector (ITU-T) in 2010. (See Where's PON Going Next?)

But speed freaks shouldn't get too excited. BT says there are no current plans to deploy this technology commercially and notes that the broadband speeds enabled by this technology are too fast for any current application: "Potential speeds are so fast that the physical limits of the networking and computer equipment prevent the line from being used at its maximum capacity," states the operator. (See BT Trials XGPON Service.)

"And although the direct link between the Truro [local] exchange and Arcol runs at 10Gbps, the company isn't connected to the wider internet at those speeds as there is nothing that can be done on the web with 10Gbps," it adds, refraining from the temptation to add #IMHO.

In addition it should be noted that the physical fiber being used has only just been laid as part of a scheme to avoid Cornwall becoming a broadband wasteland. (See BT Preps 'Landmark' FTTC Investment and Cornwall to Get Superfast Broadband Early.)Still, it's quite an exciting trial for us Brits, given that some industry experts think it might be the next century before some Europeans get any fiber broadband at all... (See Euro FTTH Switch Could Take 92 Years.)

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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