BARCELONA -- MWC 2018 -- By combining existing fiber infrastructure and two wireless technologies, Facebook and Nokia believe they can deliver gigabit broadband to residential customers around the world.
Even many rural areas often have some fiber-to-the-premise (FTTP) or fiber-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) to support so-called anchor institutions, such as schools or government agencies. In teaming up with Facebook, Nokia is extending the trials that it's already conducting with fixed wireless access over 60 GHz, Stefaan Vanhastel, who heads the global marketing for Nokia Fixed Networks, told Broadband World News. This band complements existing fiber and enables high-speed connectivity in underserved and unserved regions, ranging from urban to rural, he said.
The approach -- announced Sunday at MWC -- involves trialing Facebook's Terragraph mesh-routing and multi-hop technology with Nokia's wireless passive optical network (WPON), which creates a wireless gigabit drop to the home for broadband access networks. The vendors expect to test the solution with international customers this year.
"From the end of fiber, we would normally immediately connect an access point. At the end of fiber, we can do a number of wireless hops with Terragraph," said Vanhastel. "You can cover a number of different access points and do a number of wireless hops in the street."
Nokia's current trials include rural regions and underserved areas where fiber deployments are not scheduled for many years, he said. Using a so-called "anchor institution" that already has fiber installed, a WPON-Terragraph solution then could deliver gigabit speeds to surrounding homes on a much faster timeline, said Vanhastel.
— Alison Diana, Editor, Broadband World News. Follow us on Twitter or @alisoncdiana.