BT and Adtran conduct 100ZR live field trial

April 1, 2024
The service provider completed a field trial over a live research fiber network with Adtran’s pluggable 100ZR transceiver.

BT and Adtran recently conducted a successful optical transport field trial in a live research network using Adtran’s Coherent 100ZR pluggable transceiver.

According to the two companies, the trial demonstrated the transceiver’s ability to enable the transport of 100 Gbps wavelengths over longer distances across routes at metro and edge aggregation networks.

Adtran’s Coherent 100ZR transceiver, the size of a memory stick, can be plugged directly into a service provider’s transmission unit.

Featuring a purpose-built digital signal processor (DSP) co-developed with Coherent Corp that is optimized for data rates of 100 Gbps and designed for easy integration with deployed infrastructure, the QSFP28-compatible transceiver facilitates the adoption of 100ZR coherent technology at the network edge.

The trial with BT Group was conducted across a complex network infrastructure, spanning 90km over a third-party optical line system, incorporating four ROADM nodes and six amplifiers.

Using a tight 50GHz ROADM channel, the trial achieved enhanced spectral efficiency. Operating at less than 5 watts, the prosecution also set what BT and Adtran claim are new benchmarks for energy efficiency.

“Adtran’s plug-and-play solution has enabled us to demonstrate the feasibility of boosting capabilities within existing networks and doing so in a cost-effective and scalable manner,” said Andrew Lord, senior manager of optics research at BT. “As we continue to innovate and push boundaries, technologies like this will be instrumental in achieving our goals for a greener, more efficient telecommunications landscape.”

Ryan Schmidt, GM of optical transport at Adtran, said one of the key elements of the trial was that it illustrated the growing emphasis on reducing power levels due to the less gear necessary to run this kind of network.

“Together with BT Group, we’ve showcased a method for transforming network infrastructure with highly efficient, low-power solutions,” he said. “It’s a strategy that requires significantly less equipment and fewer sites.”

He added that the demo highlighted the advantages of deploying one amplifier in the optical line system versus multiple amplifiers within each transceiver module.

“This streamlined approach helps boost network performance, reduce operational spending, and shrink carbon footprint. As well as big potential savings—as much as 50% in some cases—this strategy offers a clear path to more sustainable network development,” Schmidt said. “This demo also highlights the exceptional performance of our outdoor-hardened Coherent 100ZR transceiver. Despite its relatively low optical launch power, it excelled within a complex, real-life ROADM network.”

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