STC leads first 50G PON live trial in the ME

The Saudi Telecom Company (STC) Group, in conjunction with Huawei, has announced the successful completion of the first trial of a 50G Passive Optical Network (PON) in the Middle East on a live optical network. The trial marks a major milestone in STC and Huawei’s long-standing collaboration and paves the way for the large-scale deployment of 50G PON in the future.

The 50G PON standard was officially approved by ITU-T in September 2021 and is considered the mainstream standard for next-generation PON technology. The technology can deliver improved speed and latency required for advanced applications such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, metaverse, and campus networks.

STC’s trial proves that the 50G PON service can coexist with the 10G PON on their live optical network and offers stable high-rate and low-latency capabilities. Bader Allhieb, the Infrastructure VP of STC Group, stated that STC is a digital leader in the Middle East and is committed to driving digital transformation by adopting leading technology solutions.

Huawei, which demonstrated an early prototype of 50G PON at Mobile World Congress in 2019, believes that operators looking to upgrade their PON should opt for 50G PON instead of 25G because it offers several commercial benefits. 50G PON is a cost-effective solution for small to mid-sized businesses, delivering a higher data rate that allows operators to capture a larger market with longer-lasting products.

In a recent collaboration with Huawei, STC also built a commercial SuperLink solution to address the challenges posed by 5G deployment in suburban areas. The solution reduces the number of antennas required by 67 percent and the amount of hardware needed by 70 percent, providing a simplified and high-bandwidth 5G solution for suburban areas.

Overall, the 50G PON trial by STC and Huawei highlights the advancements in next-generation technology and the continued effort to improve user experience and accelerate digital transformation.

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