10 July 2003 Munich, Germany Lightwave -- Deutsche Telekom and Siemens ICN claim they have logged a first with field trials aimed at testing the performance of a 1,000-km optical transmission network. The project will run from now until the end of December 2003 on the Nuremberg-Augsburg-Ulm-Stuttgart route.
Siemens was picked to take part in the project by Deutsche Telekom. During the field trials, the transmission of voice and data will be tested at speeds of 40 Gbit/sec. These speeds will not only increase the volume of traffic transmitted but will also allow network operators to introduce new services, such as connecting high-performance Internet Protocol (IP) routers for internet service providers.
The network in the field trials is based on WDM technology with flexible optical add-drop-multiplexer engineering. An optical add-drop multiplexer (OADM) allows the transmitted wavelengths to be derived from a long-haul link via a purely optical process. The OADM eliminates the need for high-cost electrical regeneration, which was necessary with previous procedures for distances of over 500 km or so. It also enables flexible traffic planning, say company representatives.
The integrated automatic analysis and regulation of optical signals in WDM networks also allows additional transmission channels to be added on a plug-and-play basis, consequently reducing operating costs even further. Deutsche Telekom's testing will also include the use of wavelength converters (transponders), which operate with tunable-laser technology. These make it possible to select and set a wavelength for the transmission process from 80 continuously tunable wavelengths. Until now, cards with fixed wavelengths have generally been used. The new technology will lead to cost savings as there will be of less hardware and reduced storage requirements, say representatives from Siemens.
During the field trials, the transmission of 40 Gbit/sec signals will be tested. The advantages of this high speed--as compared with the 10 Gbit/sec transport generally applied today--lie not only in the volume that can be sent, but also in the opportunity for network operators to offer new services.