Comcast conducts terabit trial with Ciena's 6500 platform

Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) says it has successfully completed a live field trial of a 1-Tbps optical transmission over a distance of nearly 1000 km using equipment from Ciena Corp. (NASDAQ: CIEN). The 1-Tbps trial took place during the first week of October over Comcast’s existing long-haul fiber infrastructure connecting Ashburn, VA to Charlotte, NC.

Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) says it has successfully completed a live field trial of a 1-Tbps optical transmission over a distance of nearly 1000 km using equipment from Ciena Corp. (NASDAQ: CIEN). The 1-Tbps trial took place during the first week of October over Comcast’s existing long-haul fiber infrastructure connecting Ashburn, VA to Charlotte, NC.

By demonstrating the ability to increase the traffic carrying capacity by 2.5 times, this trial showed how Comcast’s existing fiber-optic network can scale to keep pace with the bandwidth demands of cloud computing, video and multimedia applications, as well as data center connectivity, the cable MSO said.

Ciena brought an upgrade package of new technologies to its 6500 packet-optical platform, including flexible grid reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexers (ROADMs) and next-generation optical amplifiers. Five 200G subcarriers using 16-QAM modulation – already part of Ciena’s Wavelogic 3 coherent chipset – were used to create a 1-Tbps superchannel across 200 GHz of total optical spectrum. The result was 5 b/s/Hz of spectral efficiency, a full 2.5 times improvement compared to today’s 100G transmission using fixed-grid QPSK modulation. Ciena also used next-generation Raman and programmable gain amplifiers to optimize performance and system reach – enabling transmission over a distance of nearly 1000 km of uncompensated ELEAF fiber.

Ciena believes this to be the first trial in which live data traffic was carried over a 1-Tbps 16-QAM superchannel on an existing, commercial network. The network was also carrying customer traffic over 10G, 40G, and 100G wavelengths, all coexisting on a mix of flexible and 50-GHz-spaced fixed grid channels.

Ciena had previously tested its 200-Gbps 16-QAM technology over Verizon’s commercial network (see “Verizon tests 200-Gbps in the field”), but this latest field trial ups the ante again.

“This trial is a significant accomplishment because it took place across a production network and demonstrated our ability to extend the scalability benefits of new coherent modulation techniques beyond metro and regional distances,” said Francois Locoh-Donou, senior vice president, global products group at Ciena.

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

More in High-Speed Networks