World’s first trial of 25G PON for 5G backhaul is a success

(Image credit: Nokia)

Nokia and CityFibre have trialled the UK’s first 25G PON network to support 5G transport. The digital campus testbed was set up at the University of Glasgow with three 5G sites backhauled to the core. In addition to carrying 5G transport on 25G PON, the same fiber runs XGS-PON to carry office traffic, thereby demonstrating co-existence of multiple wavelengths on the PON.

Nokia’s 25G PON solution utilises the world’s first implementation of 25G PON technology and includes Lightspan and ISAM access nodes, Quillion based Multi-PON line cards and fiber modems.

“25G PON will be a game-changer.”

Phil Siveter, Nokia UK.

“This trial has been hugely encouraging. 25G PON will be a game-changer with mission-critical 5G networks increasingly requiring more redundancy. And it’s proven it can be run on exactly the same fiber running XGS-PON traffic,” said Phil Siveter, CEO Nokia UK. 

Business cases for enterprises

The University of Glasgow is using the long-term testbed, funded by the Scotland 5G Centre, to explore business cases for enterprises to exploit and adopt 5G. The successful test, carried out on November 18, used the network for a series of simulations including a holographic call between campus buildings, teleoperation of a robotic arm and 8K video streaming.

“Backhaul connectivity is the real backbone of 5G networks.”

Professor Muhammad Imran.

"Backhaul connectivity is the real backbone of 5G networks and could be a bottleneck for achieving high end-to-end performance if not well designed to meet demands. In partnership with Nokia and CityFibre, we have demonstrated on our 5G testbed how Nokia’s next-generation 25G PON transport solution can improve 5G user experience by supporting 3D telepresence and remote robotic control use cases,” said Professor Muhammad Imran, Professor of Communication Systems and Director, Communications Sensing and Imaging Group, University of Glasgow. 

Tomorrow’s technology

"New and exciting high-bandwidth applications."

Matt Yarwood, CityFibre.

Matt Yarwood, Network Architect at CityFibre, added: “Nokia and the University of Glasgow 5G Centre have demonstrated the ease at which CityFibre’s Full Fibre passive optical networks can scale and evolve to meet tomorrow’s technology requirements. This better-by-design approach to digital infrastructure means we can accommodate the low latency backhaul requirements of 4G & 5G mobile operators and enable the development of new and exciting high-bandwidth applications.”

Rachael Sharpe

Rachael is a British journalist with 17 years experience in the publishing industry. Since launching, she’s been freelancing, and working for some of the world’s best-loved websites and magazines including and and has also had a book, iPad for Photographers, published. A regular contributor at 5Gradar, Rachael is following the 5G market closely. Find out more at