Alcatel-Lucent, Vodafone Spain claim 400Gbps over existing fibre

Alcatel-Lucent and Vodafone claimed they have been able to demonstrate 400Gbps data transmission over an existing fibre optic network across a 400-kilometre distance between Madrid and Zaragoza in Spain.

The trial was conducted by using Alcatel-Lucent’s 400G Photonic Service Engine (PSE) electro-optics chip, which was developed by the firm’s research arm Bell Labs in 2012. The vendor claimed the PSE enabled the optical network to carry data at a speed of 17.6 Tbps thus- according to to the firm- doubling the current efficiency of the fibre. The company said it was the equivalent of transmitting the contents of 88 Blu-ray discs in a single second, and at the same time reducing power and space consumption by half.

“This trial application of Alcatel-Lucent’s innovation in optical transmission demonstrated our ability to provide Vodafone with the technology they need to meet their rapidly evolving requirements,” Willem Hendrickx, President Europe, Middle East and Africa of Alcatel-Lucent said.

“Specifically, this trial has demonstrated the feasibility of state-of-the-art transmission over one of Vodafone’s existing European backbone networks. We look forward to taking this innovation to the next step with them”.

Vodafone’s network, on which the trial was done, apparently normally carries a mix of 10Gbps, 40Gbps and 100Gbps traffic streams. According to Alcatel-Lucent, the test proved 400Gbps transmission can be achieved on existing networks without disruption to traffic or reengineering the optical link.

“This trial demonstrates that it is possible to transmit data at 400 Gbps over a considerable distance simultaneously with other transmission speeds using our existing infrastructure,” Mauro Costa, Vodafone Director Core and Transport CoE said.

Nikos Plevris, head of Transmission & Transport– Vodafone European Network Engineering said: “With this trial we have demonstrated that it is possible to cost-effectively increase network capacity and enhance the quality of broadband without disrupting traffic or extensively reengineering infrastructure”.

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