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Trialling WPON for fibre lead-ins

Wireless Passive Optical Networking (WPON) has the potential to solve one of the more challenging UFB deployment issues: getting UFB fibre-like performance without a physical fibre to the premise…

We are considering Nokia’s Wireless Passive Optical Networking (WPON) solution for use where direct fibre deployment may not be feasible, for example in multiple dwelling units, rights of way, or business parks where there are consenting challenges.

So, how do we make use of it? It starts with a small access point on a nearby telephone pole or lamppost that is connected to the fibre running down the street. The access point uses a standard UFB fibre connection to provide gigabit connectivity to customers nearby.

On the customer side, they simply need an outdoor antenna/ receiver which links to their router inside the premise using an Ethernet cable.

WPON uses unlicensed 60GHz spectrum, so it is not subject to spectrum auctions. The technology requires line of sight between the access point and customer’s premise. Our trials have shown speeds of around 1.6Gbps over 150m, with WPON delivering a theoretical maximum of 3Gbps.

Earlier this year, we announced a first successful trial in Auckland. We’ll continue to test the WPON technology to ensure it is ready for wide-scale deployment, including testing its performance in a range of weather conditions and other scenarios.