Researchers at Nokia Bell labs in France have set two new world records in submarine optical transmission.
The first record was achieved by both Nokia Bell Labs and Nokia subsidiary Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN), establishing a net throughput of 41 Tbit/s over 291 km via a C-band unrepeated transmission system. C-band unrepeated systems are commonly used to connect islands and offshore platforms to each other and the mainland proper. The previous record for these kinds of systems is 35 Tbps over the same distance. Nokia Bell Labs and ASN broke the record at ASN’s research testbed facility, also in Paris-Saclay.
The second sets a new optical speed record for transoceanic distances. Nokia Bell Labs researchers were able to demonstrate an 800Gbit/s data rate at a distance of 7865 km using a single wavelength of light. That distance is twice that of current state-of-the-art equipment and is approximately the geographical distance between Seattle and Tokyo. Nokia Bell Labs achieved this milestone at its optical research testbed in Paris-Saclay, France.
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Nokia Bell Labs and ASN presented the scientific findings behind both records at the European Conference on Optical Communications (ECOC), held in Glasgow, Scotland last week.
The research behind these two records will have significant impact on the next generation of submarine optical transmission systems. While future deployments of submarine fibre will take advantage of new fibre technologies like multimode and multicore, the existing undersea fibre networks can take advantage of next-generation higher-baud-rate transceivers to boost their performance and increase their long-term viability.
“With these higher baud rates, we can directly link most of the world’s continents with 800 Gbit/s of capacity over individual wavelengths. Previously, these distances were inconceivable for that capacity. Furthermore, we’re not resting on our achievement. This world record is the next step toward next-generation Terabit-per-second submarine transmissions over individual wavelengths,” said Sylvain Almonacil, Research Engineer at Nokia Bell Labs (above at the test bed).
Hans Bissessur, Unrepeated Systems Group leader at ASN, said: “These research advances show that that we can achieve better performance over the existing fibre infrastructure. Whether these optical systems are crisscrossing the world or linking the islands of an archipelago, we can extend their lifespans.”
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