Chorus trials 10Gbps broadband

Chorus gigabit broadband customers in Auckland and Wellington can apply to be among the first to trial a new 10Gbps-speed service.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

New Zealand carrier Chorus has announced that it will be trialling 10Gbps broadband speeds across residential and small and medium-sized businesses with fibre connections in Auckland and Wellington.

The trial, which will kick off in mid-March, will be available to those with gigabit fibre services, with broadband retailers 2degrees, Vocus Communications, 2Talk, Kordia, Orcon, Slingshot, Trustpower, and Stuff Fibre having signed on to take part in the offering.

The 10Gbps service makes use of Nokia's XGS-PON fibre technology.

"Our 10-gigabit-per-second residential and SME trial will see New Zealanders accessing one of the fastest broadband services available on the planet," Chorus chief customer officer Ed Hyde said on Monday.

"It also reinforces the ability to easily upgrade the world-class fibre infrastructure we have been building as the latest technologies become available ... when Chorus' fibre plans first launched in 2012, the top speed then available was 100Mbps.

"We were then the first to make gigabit fibre broadband available in 2014, and today this is the fastest-growing plan on our network with more than 44,000 customers."

Initially, 30 residential customers will be chosen for the trial service across Avondale or Birkenhead in Auckland, and Johnsonville in Wellington. Customers must be with one of the eight retailers that have signed on for the test, and must also be willing to provide Chorus with feedback on the service.

Chorus in November announced that it would be bringing down its wholesale pricing for residential gigabit services from NZ$65 to NZ$60 by mid-2019, and then down to NZ$56 in mid-2020, at the same time announcing that it had connected half a million customers to the New Zealand government's Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) fibre network.

Chorus is also working with Nokia on upgrading its copper broadband across New Zealand, in October announcing that they would be using VSDL2 vectoring technology to enable speeds of up to 130Mbps.

VDSL2 technology, which removes interference between multiple copper cable lines, is being used in Chorus' network outside of the government's UFB and Chorus' own fibre footprint.

"Nokia's VDSL vectoring ... has improved average VDSL downstream speeds by over 40 percent and upstream speeds by over 30 percent. This is especially important for rural New Zealand, where fibre to the home has not yet been planned," Chorus head of Network Technology Martin Sharrock said at the time.

Nokia and Chorus last year also announced a trial of the networking company's new optical wavelength services solution to provide a more open access network infrastructure.

According to Nokia, the solution allows for on-demand service assurance and commissioning of optical wavelength services, which Chorus would then be able to wholesale to service providers.

"With its support for compact demarcation devices and end-customer portal access to fully instrumented service assurance dashboards and reports, we believe that solutions like this will further advance our service offer, and put more network control in the hands of our service providers," Chorus CTO Ewan Powell said in May.

Nokia in 2017 extended its managed services agreement with Chorus for a further three years, with the agreement covering Chorus' legacy networks as well as the telco's rollout of both stages of the New Zealand government's UFB network across the country.

Under the agreement, Nokia is responsible for managing and enhancing network operations across Chorus' fixed-line network using real-time service management capabilities to reduce downtime and increase network performance.

Nokia two years ago additionally extended its contract with Chorus to update its broadband infrastructure across New Zealand by incorporating fibre-based Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) technology and VDSL2.

Under that contract, Nokia deployed its Intelligent Services Access Manager (ISAM) fibre-to-the-node (FttN) access node, ISAM FX high-capacity fibre platform, and ISAM SX-16 VDSL2 micro-node. Its IP routing and optical transport tech involves use of its Service Router, Extensible Routing System (XRS) Routing Technology, Photonic Service Switch (PSS), and Service Aware Manager.

Nokia also provides end-to-end network design, integration, testing, and operation support for Chorus.

Nokia's presence in New Zealand telecommunications has also seen it upgrade Spark's mobile and fixed networks, test narrowband-Internet of Things (IoT) with Vodafone NZ, and work on 5G demos with Vodafone NZ.

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