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Openreach and Huawei make pioneering FTTP broadband breakthrough

19 October 2016

Openreach and Huawei make pioneering FTTP broadband breakthrough

Openreach and Huawei have scored a European first by trialling an exciting new broadband technology which could super-charge speeds for businesses and consumers in the future.

The trial involved a fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) connection running between the University of Suffolk, Ipswich Exchange, and BT’s world renowned R&D centre at Adastral Park.

It saw 40Gbps, 10Gbps and 2.5Gbps speeds delivered simultaneously over a single fibre optic cable.

The most common FTTP technologies in the UK today offer maximum speeds of up to 330Mbps, with a single fibre transmitting 2.5Gbps of capacity, which is then shared between customers.

But this latest breakthrough shows that much greater capacity of 40Gbps and 10Gbps can be supported along the same fibre, demonstrating how FTTP networks can be future-proofed to stay well ahead of prospective demand for bandwidth.

Using separate wavelengths

The different technologies use separate wavelengths, meaning that all three can operate seamlessly on the same fibre network, known as ‘co-existence’. This demonstrates not only how operators can adapt to meet ultrafast speeds in the future, but also shows the latent capability of the network that Openreach has already deployed.

Clive Selley, chief executive of Openreach, said: “Superfast speeds are now available to nine out of ten homes and businesses and we're taking fibre further. We're also excited to be bringing the country ultrafast speeds.”

He continued: “We’ll be taking ultrafast to up to 12 million UK premises by the end of 2020, and to the majority by 2025. But it’s also vital that we continue to look even further into the future, and prepare for increasing data consumption over our network. That’s what this trial is all about.”

 Future-proofed and tailored

“The trial proves that not only is our FTTP network fit for the future, but with the right equipment in the customer’s home and at the exchange, we can tailor speeds to suit their individual requirements. So whether you’re a small business specialising in graphic design or a keen gamer using UHD and virtual reality, we’ll make sure your communications provider can offer you the speeds and value for money services that you need.”

Added Clive Selley: “I’m looking forward to discussing this technology breakthrough further with our communications providers to see how it could help shape their future plans.”

Jeff Wang, president of Huawei Access network, said: “Huawei has been running an Innovation program with Openreach for many years and we are looking forward to continuing the partner relationship for the future.”

UK’s Digital future

He added: “Huawei’s investment and innovation in both fibre and copper based technologies will help Openreach to deploy the ultrafast broadband to serve the UK public for many years to come and help achieve Openreach ambitions of passing ten million homes with G.fast and up to a further two million homes with FTTP by 2020.”

The University of Suffolk has been using the new service for the past two weeks allowing it the high bandwidths required for today’s demanding research. During the next phase of testing the University will use the high bandwidth for streaming lectures, designing games, and delivering online courses.

Peter O’Rourke, director of IT at University of Suffolk, said: “The university is proud to partner with industry and so welcomed the opportunity to collaborate with Huawei and Openreach to demonstrate these exciting new technologies.”