Standard optical fiber transmits 1.7Tbps over core network

ZTE logoChinese telecommunications provider ZTE held a field demonstration of an optical network capable of transmitting 1.7Tbps, the company announced today. The network used Wavelength Division Multiplexing to achieve the thousand-gigabit speeds, which separates data into different wavelengths and transmits those wavelengths over the same optical fiber. In ZTE's demonstration, the company used 8 different channels, each transmitting 216.4Gbps. The transmission was conducted in China over 1,087 miles, on a standard fiber-optic cable.

While the 1.7Tbps number will mostly intrigue network operators (there's not yet a future where you'll get terabits of information to your home network), the channels delivering 200 Gbps will mean a lower cost per bit for operators, which could possibly be passed on to consumers whose data demands will invariably grow.

Still, ZTE's demonstration was just a field test, and there's no saying when the technology will be available in any practical sense. ZTE's press release implies that the demonstration was less about a specific product than proving an upgrade from a 100Gbps to a 200Gbps network was possible. The company reported "a 25 percent increase in spectrum efficiency" from the test.

Currently, networks delivering 40 and 100 Gbps are considered advanced, and although ZTE isn't the only company in the terabit ring—according to ComputerWorld Huawei displayed a prototype optical system that could transmit 20Tbps over multiple 400Gbps channels—it does move closer to a world in which 200Gbps could become the norm.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: technologies, ZTE

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