ASN and Nokia Bell Labs achieve 65 Tbps over 6,600 km of subsea fiber

ASN and Nokia Bell Labs achieve 65 Tbps over 6,600 km of subsea fiber
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Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks (ASN) and Nokia Bell Labs say they have managed to achieve a transmission speed of 65 Tbps over a 6,600 km single mode fiber.

That’s in the lab, not the field, but it’s still a transmission speed record for subsea cables, and one that Nokia Bell Labs says will extend the capability of subsea cable systems to meet increasing data traffic demand.

The trial used Bell Labs’ new Probabilistic Constellation Shaping (PCS) technology, a new modulation technique designed for maximum distance and capacity for high-speed transmission in optical networks.

From the press release:

Unlike traditional techniques whereby all constellation symbols are transmitted with the same occurrence, PCS intelligently uses non-uniform transmission of constellation symbols by reducing the occurrence of high power symbols, thus providing more resilience to noise and other impairments, and the ability to dynamically adapt to changing conditions.

“The future digital existence where everyone, everything and every system and process is connected will require a massive increase in network capacity and the ability to dynamically optimize this capacity,” said Marcus Weldon, president of Nokia Bell Labs & Nokia CTO. “Probabilistic Constellation Shaping extends the limits of current optical transmission by utilizing novel modulation techniques to dramatically improve the performance and capacity needed for the new digital era that will be enabled by the ‘Future X’ network.”

Olivier Gautheron, chief technology officer of ASN, said the trial “underlines [ASN’s] strategic focus on R&D to raise the bar for undersea fiber-optic technology as our researchers continue to develop new solutions to help traditional and webscale operators cope with increasing requirements for speed, capacity and cost-effectiveness.”

In September, Nokia Bell Labs, Deutsche Telekom and the Technical University on Munich leveraged PCS technology to achieve speeds of 1 Tb per second per channel over Deutsche Telekom’s terrestrial optical network.

Incidentally, says Nokia, 65 Tbps is equivalent to more than 10 million HDTV channels streamed simultaneously and is 13,000 times the capacity that was available on the first undersea amplified transatlantic system installed in 1995.

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