Alcatel-Lucent, BT team for 14-Tbps optical transmission with record spectral efficiency

Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) and BT say they have transmitted 1.4 Tbps on the latter’s fiber-optic network. The optical transmission featured what the two parties assert is a record spectral efficiency of 5.7 bps/Hz.

The trial took place over an existing 410-km fiber link between the BT Tower in London and BT's Adastral Park research campus in Suffolk. The transmission took the form of an “alien superchannel” that comprised seven 200-Gbps channels transmitted via Alcatel-Lucent’s 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS). Flexible grid technology enabled reduction of the spectral density to 35 GHz between channels.

The 1.4-Tbps transmission was part of a series of trials conducted last October and November. The series included the achievement of 5.7 bps/Hz spectral density, which is equivalent to fitting a 1-Tbps superchannel in less than 200 GHz of spectrum. The 1.4-Tbps alien superchannel showed stable, error-free operation when transmitted alongside a mix of 40-Gbps and 100-Gbps native wavelengths, say the two firms. Transmission via standard 50-GHz subchannel spacing and 35-GHz spacing was tested.

Needless to say, the participants expressed pleasure with the test results. "Investing for the future is core to BT's strategy and this outstanding achievement demonstrates that BT can easily introduce new features and technologies across our core network maximizing the efficiency of our existing infrastructure,” said Neil J. McRae, chief network architect at BT. “Working with Alcatel-Lucent on this trial has been highly productive in demonstrating the viability of an alien wavelength approach."

"BT has a long history of leading innovation in telecommunications, from the earliest days of the electric telegraph to today's global fiber networks,” added Dr Tim Whitley, BT's managing director of research and innovation. “These trials continue that tradition, as we work with Alcatel-Lucent to push the boundaries of fiber technology, allowing us to support the ever increasing bandwidth required by our customers, and deliver new and exciting services which rely on fast, data-hungry applications."

The two parties have collaborated for several years; Alcatel-Lucent supplied the 1830 PSS, along with other transmission hardware, for BT’s 21st Century Network initiative (see “BT taps Alcatel-Lucent to increase 21CN bandwidth capacity”).

Cormac Whelan, CEO, Alcatel-Lucent UK & Ireland, concluded, "As part of our longstanding relationship, BT and Alcatel-Lucent continue to work together to use innovation from Bell Labs, Alcatel-Lucent, and BT Research and Development to move the industry forward and meet the ever evolving needs of the marketplace. These trials represent another step forwards by BT and Alcatel-Lucent in this continual evolution"

For more information on high-speed transmission systems and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyer’s Guide.

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