Nokia and Rakuten complete 1 Terabit fibre network trial

fibre cable 1

Finish kit vendor Nokia and Japanese MNO Rakuten have demonstrated a live 1Tbps per channel transmission, which they claim represents a speed increase of 500% on Rakuten’s existing fibre network.

The trial connected data centres 135 km apart in the Japan’s Kanto region and was supposed to demonstrate the ability to scale network capacity over Nokia’s open optical line system infrastructure.

The resulting 1 Terabit per second per channel transmission over Rakuten Mobile’s commercial Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexer (DWDM) network represents a speed increase of 500% on Rakuten Mobile’s existing network, which runs at 200Gbps, according to the announcement.

This was achieved via coherent transmission courtesy of Nokia’s Photonic Service Engine (PSE) which supports 1tbps capacity over a 150 GHz optical spectrum. The trial delivered 32tbps per fiber in C-band, which can apparently be expanded to 64tbps by adding L-band over a Nokia DWDM line system.

“The 1 Terabit per channel trial demonstrated the capability to dramatically increase fibre capacity and future-proof the Rakuten Mobile network infrastructure to support new high speed data centre interconnection,” said John Lancaster-Lennox, Head of Market Unit Japan at Nokia.

Tareq Amin, Representative Director and CEO of Rakuten Mobile added: “We are delighted with the performance of 1 Tb/s per channel on our optical network in collaboration with Nokia. This technical milestone will allow us to maximize bits per fibre and achieve improved power efficiency. The enhanced capacity will also support our traffic growth, deliver higher bandwidth and enable Rakuten Mobile to provide new service offerings.”

While the use case is very specific – specialised heavy duty kit being brought to bear to serve an extremely traffic dense connection between two data centres – it’s a milestone nonetheless. Even if you’re once of those few people not immersed in the deepest darkest technological arcana of the industry, ‘five times faster fibre’ it’s worth giving a nod to.


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