High-rise apartment buildings in Seoul, South Korea
Nokia and SK Broadband have succeeded in being the first in the world to provide 52.5Gbps fibre broadband speeds to apartment buildings in SeoulReuters

Nokia and SK Broadband have become the first in the world to provide super-fast fibre internet broadband speeds of up to 52.5Gbps to residences in Seoul, South Korea.

South Korea is already known as the world's most connected country that currently offers the fastest download and upload broadband and mobile internet speeds, for example, the world's first 10Gbps internet service, which was launched in 2014.

The country's next goal is to make Gigabit broadband accessible to all citizens by 2020, and to that end, SK Broadband has deployed Nokia's universal next generation Passive Optical Network (uNGPON) technology, which combines several types of Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) technology together on a single fibre optics cable.

To make the trial work, uNGPON was deployed on SK Broadband's existing fibre network, and to get the fibre broadband to each apartment in the building in Seoul, Nokia developed multi-dwelling units (MDU) together with Korean network equipment vendor HFR.

The end result combined TWDM-PON (offering 40Gbps), XGS-PON (offering 10Gbps) and GPON (offering 2.5Gbps), to produce a total of 52.5Gbps on a single fibre.

South Korea's mobile broadband penetration currently stands at 91%, and over 55% of households are already connecting to the internet using fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) or fibre-to-the-building.

While even faster speeds have been demonstrated, such as the fastest ever broadband speed of 1.4 terabits a second achieved by BT and Alcatel-Lucent in London in 2014, the Nokia-SK Broadband fibre trial is the fastest broadband speed that has been demonstrated to residential properties in the world.

"As a new era looms that demands Gigabit Internet, Ultra High Definition video and Virtual and Augmented Reality services, SK Broadband will establish a network infrastructure that provides the best customer value," said Yoo Ji-chang, Head of SK Broadband's Network Division.

"Following the world's first commercialisation of an ADSL service and the two-pair LAN cable 500M service, we will establish a top-class optical Internet platform to create the best Gigabit broadband service environment for our customers."