Telekom Austria's A1, Coriant run 400 Gbps via space-division multiplexing

Optical transport systems vendor Coriant and A1, the Austrian subsidiary of Telekom Austria Group, say they have wrapped up the first demonstration of space-division multiplexing (SDM) on a live network. The trial saw the two transmit 400 Gbps over the fiber-optic network, which also was a first for Austria, the parties add.

Optical transport systems vendor Coriant and A1, the Austrian subsidiary of Telekom Austria Group, say they have wrapped up the first demonstration of space-division multiplexing (SDM) on a live network. The trial saw the two transmit 400 Gbps over the fiber-optic network, which also was a first for Austria, the parties add.

The SDM trial leveraged technology developed within the MODE-GAP research project (see “MODE-GAP project makes progress in mode-division multiplexing” and "Nokia Siemens Networks touts 57.6 Tbps over multimode fiber"). Coriant is a member of the MODE-GAP consortium. SDM uses multiple parallel WDM transmissions in a single fiber to increase the throughput by activating additional spatial modes. SDM-over-multi-mode fibers offers a promising pathway to network scalability, the project participants believe.

The field trial ran over a 660-km route between Salzburg and Vienna and 8-QAM modulation. Coriant and A1 showed the efficacy of 400G transmission alongside 40G and 100G wavelengths transmitted via Coriant’s hiT 7300 optical transport systems. The route included fibers with in-line multi-mode spans and multi-mode amplifiers. The multi-rate, multi-distance trial included a mix of 100G and 400G signals transmitted as far as 1245 km (in the case of 100G) between major network sites, including Vienna and Salzburg. The 400G transmission, divided into a pair of 200-Gbps subcarriers, traveled as far as 660 km, a source at Coriant told Lightwave.

Coriant and A1 say the SDM upgrade trial validates the technology’s ability to interoperate with legacy networks in a multi-span and multi-rate transmission environment.

“This recent field trial highlights the future-proof capability of our backbone network. A capacity of 400 Gbps means that some 5000 users simultaneously watch HDTV or video streaming or use download from the internet via one single fiber. This trial activity was an important step toward deepening our collaboration with Coriant and facilitating seamless deployment of next-generation technologies,” said Marcus Grausam, CTO of A1.

“Testing 400G and SDM both reflect our ongoing commitment to meeting our customers’ evolving bandwidth hunger – today, and well into the future. We believe there will be a need for a new approach to maximizing capacity in the network beyond 2020, and we were very pleased at how straightforward space-division multiplexing technology worked in our laboratory test,” said Gunther Ottendorfer, Group CTO of the Telekom Austria Group.

“While there are many challenges to overcome before advanced transmission technologies such as SDM make their way into commercials systems, this innovative field trial highlights our commitment to advancing the state of optical communications,” said Uwe Fischer, Chief Technology Officer, Coriant. “We are pleased to deepen our relationship with A1 and the Telekom Austria Group by demonstrating the future potential of high-capacity optical transmission, while at the same time validating the upgrade capability of their deployed transport systems from Coriant.”

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