Nokia will combine its worldwide delivery capabilities and wireless passive optical network (WPON) with Facebook’s Terragraph technology to launch global gigabit broadband trials in 2018 with select customers. The Nokia, Facebook project is an attempt to accelerate the adoption of 60 GHz fixed wireless access technologies to deliver gigabit services and connect more people. The 60 GHz band is well suited to supporting high-speed broadband connectivity in urban or suburban areas, complementing existing fiber.

Nokia, Facebook Pairing
Nokia’s WPON technology provides a wireless gigabit drop to the home for broadband access networks. Facebook’s Terragraph technology is a 60 GHz, multi-node wireless system designed to provide a low-cost solution for high-speed wireless access. Combining WPON with Terragraph’s mesh-routing and multi-hop capabilities allows broadband providers to wirelessly deliver gigabit services over wider areas with high reliability and meet growing demands for ultra-broadband access, the companies said.

Nokia and Facebook will also work together to accelerate IEEE’s 802.11ay industry standard, leveraging Nokia’s Wireless PON innovation and Terragraph’s efficient TDMA scheduling capabilities. The goal is to create a strong platform and ecosystem for introducing 60GHz Terragraph-certified solutions to the marketplace, and deliver gigabit services to more people, sooner.

Nokia last year launched its Wireless PON (WPON) solution, further expanding its fiber-to-the-most-economical-point toolkit. Wireless PON is based on 802.11ad WiGig technology and provides a wireless drop for fiber-to-the-home networks. Access points can be easily mounted on utility poles, street lights or a building facade, and deliver gigabit-per-second speeds to a self-installable WPON Home unit. By using the WPON solution rather than bringing fiber into every home, broadband providers can reduce up-front investment cost and deploy faster.

“While fiber is being pushed deeper and deeper, the physical connection to the home or apartment requires additional resources,” said Julie Kunstler, principal analyst in Ovum’s next-gen infrastructure practice in a prepared statement. “Combining Nokia’s WPON solution with Facebook’s Terragraph 60 GHz technology, ensures the future-proofing of bandwidth while meeting competitive time-to-market and cost points.”