Nokia has outfitted an entire apartment building in Seoul with a 52.5 Gbps fiber connection.
The company has partnered up with South Korean Telecom company SK Broadband to wire the building with fiber optics. However, this doesn't mean that each user will get 52.5 Gbps of internet speed, but there's a fat chance that each renters will receive a gigabit-level bandwidth.
SK Broadband is one of South Korea's leading fiber ultra-broadband service providers. Nokia's primary reason why it has partnered with the telecom company is because of its willingness to innovate the state of broadband service in its home country, being the first to commercialize Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) technology in 2006.
To make the connection possible, Nokia reused SK Broadband's existing fiber network and access platform, boosting the GPON from 2.5 Gbps to 52.5 Gbps, a sizable jump. SKU Broadband used multi-dwelling units by vendor of network equipment HFR Inc., and Nokia's own "next generation" passive optical network technology, or PON and aggregated both technologies in a unified fiber network. The aggregation of these technologies running in a single existing fiber network accounted for the huge speed boost.
Aside from the huge speed boost, Nokia's PON brings efficiencies in cost and operation because of wavelength mobility. It's a necessary development if South Korea's intent to deliver on the promise of a country-wide gigabit broadband by 2020.
"Nokia's innovation edge and our portfolio of next generation fiber technologies help customers like SK Broadband realize the true Gigabit societies of the future," said Federico Guillen, Nokia's Fixed Networks Group president.
Nokia is the most prominent name in next generation fiber trials, having administered 55 of them to date. South Korea was likely the strategic location for the Finnish company to tinker its fiber prowess on, given the fact that the country leads mobile broadband penetration at 91 percent. Also, more than 55 percent of South Korean households have either a home/building fiber connection.
The research was a joint effort by Nokia Bell, Technical University of Munich and Deutsche Telekom T-Labs. The researchers said that the high speed was achieved using a technique called "Probabilistic Constellation Shaping," which changes the probability with which constellation points are used, a complex procedure which results to insanely high network speeds.
Country-wide gigabit network speeds in the United States may take a while before it can become a reality, but at least Nokia shows that it is possible to achieve a feat as such, even noting that the 1 Tbps fiber tests in September were administered in "real-world conditions."