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A-L, Vodafone to trial TWDM-PON in Europe

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Alcatel-Lucent and Vodafone are conducting the first European field trial of TWDM-PON ultra-broadband access technology as the operator prepares its network to address growing data traffic and mobile backhaul demands.

The France-based vendor said its Time and Wavelength Division Multiplexed Passive Optical Networks tech (TWDM-PON) would enable Vodafone to achieve a network performance of up to 40 gigabits per second over its existing fibre infrastructure.

As well as boosting capacity to residential and enterprise premises, A-L said TWDM-PON would boost wireless capacity as Vodafone’s customers continue to move to LTE.

The field trial follows a demonstration at Vodafone’s lab in Spain.

TWDM-PON, which can co-exist with existing PON tech, uses four wavelengths per fibre, giving a total capacity of 40 Gbps.

A-L claimed the fact that it uses the same fibre infrastructure used by service providers’ residential customers makes it cost-efficient.

Gavin Young, Head of Fixed Access, Vodafone Group said: “We have been engaged with Alcatel-Lucent for several years on TWDM-PON development, testing and trial activities, and all of which have shown great results. We look forward to conducting field trials of TWDM-PON technology in Europe.”

The operator is over halfway through the implementation of its £19 billion Project Spring initiative to sharpen its network performance worldwide.

[Exclusive: Vodafone UK's Head of Mobile Networks defends performance]

Already this month, it has announced trials of small cell tech in the UK and the upcoming deployment of VoLTE in Spain and Italy.

Federico Guillén, president of Alcatel-Lucent’s Fixed Access Business Line said: “Vodafone wants to grow capacity to meet customer demand. They also want to benefit from operational efficiencies that keep them competitive in a challenging market.

“We are committed to providing them with innovative technologies that will allow them to reduce costs and deliver new services more easily. That is why TWDM-PON is such an important development for them.”