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Exploring Google Fiber’s Bold 20-Gbps Leap with Nokia’s 25G PON

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The Finnish corporation Nokia announced that its 25G PON solutions are facilitating the 20-Gbps fibre service of Google Fiber (GFiber) Labs. Google’s experimental 20 Gig product has been under vigorous tests for over a year, with the first real-world implementation taking place in September when Nick Saporito, GFiber’s head of commercial strategy, employed the system in his own residence.

Soon after, Google Fiber announced an expanded commercial test at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC). This initiative further garnered momentum in May of this year when the tech giant began seeking eight additional organisations including businesses, non-profits, and educational institutes, capable of carrying 20 Gig tests across Texas, North Carolina, and Utah. Despite the impressive capacity of the 20 Gig service, Saporito conceded that both his family and him were unable to fully tap into its massive potential.

Such a revelation could raise doubts about the necessity of a broadband service offering a staggering speed of 20-Gbps, considering the absence of services requiring such a broad bandwidth. However, GFiber aims to silence the sceptics by arguing that a similar line of questioning occurs each time network capacity witnesses an evolutionary leap. Rather than focusing on the present, GFiber aims its vision at the future, with 20 Gig serving as a commendable milestone in their pursuit of delivering 100-Gbps symmetric services and beyond.

John Keib, vice president of technology, operations, and product at GFiber, highlighted this ambitious pursuit in a recent blog post. Fighting against the limitations of current standards, Keib advocated for the transformative value of escalated investment in infrastructure and services geared towards fueling both the U.S. economy and providing robust economic opportunities for all.

From an industry player perspective, Nokia seems eager to assist GFiber in their challenging mission. The synergistic partnership promises mutual benefits including the opportunity to have Google, a key player in the tech universe, rigorously evaluate their network tech. “The age of multi-gig broadband services is here, and we’re committed to ensuring all of our customers can benefit from the incredible potential it brings,” shared Liz Hsu, senior director, product and billing at Google Fiber.

Meanwhile, Nokia reported that the 20 Gig service, powered by the 25G PON solution, is swiftly gaining momentum, with successful implementations at both UMKC and Utah’s non-profit United Way. Nokia also stressed the substantial upgrade to 25G PON doesn’t necessitate the deployment of new cables. “With our 25G PON solution, Google Fiber can reuse its existing fibre network to quickly and cost-effectively deliver the next generation of gigabit services to their customers,” shared Geert Heyninck, general manager of broadband networks at Nokia.

The move has also caught the attention of analysts such as Julie Kunstler, chief analyst of Omdia’s broadband access intelligence service. She pointed to the momentum behind the 25G PON as a sign of more operators pursuing higher-revenue customers and applications.

The trend is also being echoed globally, with Australia’s NBN Co reaching symmetric 20-Gbps speeds in a field trial, in partnership with Nokia, as part of its multi-gigabit service strategy for both residential and corporate customers.

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