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Feature - 10 October 2014

BT and Huawei achieve real-world super channel speed of 3Tbps

Fast fibre

Successful field trials have seen BT and its partner Huaweii achieve connection speeds of up to three Terabits per second (Tbps) over a 360 kilometre link between Ipswich and London.

These are believed to be the fastest real-time super channel speeds ever achieved using an existing fibre link using commercial grade hardware and software in a real world operational environment.

The speeds are the equivalent to transmitting around 100 HD films in a single second.

The record transmission was conducted over a link between BT’s Adastral Park research campus in Suffolk and the BT Tower in London.

It used an advanced ‘Flexgrid’ infrastructure with Huawei’s OSN 9800/8800 and iManager U2000 platform.

Increased efficiency

This approach increases the capacity on a fibre cable by compressing the gaps between transmission channels, usually set at 50GHz. The technique increases the density of channels on a fibre, making it around 50 per cent more efficient than today’s typical core network links.

The results demonstrate how BT’s core fibre optic infrastructure could work even more efficiently in the future, reducing the need to invest in more cables as bandwidth demands from consumers and businesses continue to grow.

Neil J. McRae, chief network architect at BT said: “Flexgrid technology is evolving quickly, and this trial has been invaluable in demonstrating the feasibility of this emerging technology in a real, truly testing environment.”

New and exciting services

He added: “Combined with BT’s continuing investment in its network infrastructure, this outstanding breakthrough suggests we’re well-prepared for a future where new and exciting services are delivered by faster, more data-hungry applications. The trial result also demonstrates how we’ll be able to maximise the efficiency of BT’s existing investments, extending the life of our core network infrastructure while continuing to meet the needs of a 21st Century digital society."