BT And Huawei Achieve 2Tbps On Commercial Fibre Network

BT has achieved record speeds for data transmissions on live, commercial fibre links and closed test networks, claiming the results demonstrate how the capacity of its infrastructure can be increased through new network technologies.

The company, along with equipment manufacturer Huawei, reached 2Tbps on a 737km stretch of cable between London and Dublin using flexible grid infrastructures and terabit superchannels that boost the capacity of the individual strands of glass that make up fibre cables.

By making transmissions more efficient, such as by compressing the gaps between channels, it is hoped fibre will be able to cope with the anticipated growth for data in the future.

Fibre transmission records

Separately, BT and Huawei achieved 5.6Tbps along a closed 359km fibre loop between the BT Tower in central London and BT’s research and development facility at Adastral Park in Suffolk.

BT had previously achieved 1.4Tbps on a live fibre cable with Alcatel-Lucent in January 2014 and 3Tbps with Huawei on a closed network in the same year.

“The core network is the superhighway of the internet. It’s important that our core networks keep pace with the growth in bandwidth demands driven by take-up of high-speed fibre broadband, HD content, 4G smartphones and tablets and in the future, 5G services,” said Howard Watson, CEO of BT Technology, Services and Operations (TSO).

“So we’re investing in our core, as well as in high-speed access technology such as fibre broadband, to make sure there is no capacity crunch and deliver the best possible speeds to customers. These landmark trials show that we can easily turn up the dial to deliver the speeds needed in our core networks to stay well ahead of rising customer demand.”

“Ultra-High-Speed optical networks are an indispensable infrastructure for the future of digital life, and this is an area where Huawei is investing, to help telcos such as BT squeeze as much capacity out of their core networks as possible,” added Zha Jun, president of Huawei’s fixed network product business.

Research projects around the world are seeking to boost the speed and capacity of wired and wireless networks as entertainment and cloud applications, along with the Internet of things (IoT), drive demand.

For example, BT has been able to achieve speeds of 5Gbps on a copper connection through ‘XG.Fast’ technology, while researchers in Germany claim to have reached 6Gbps across a 37km wireless network.

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Steve McCaskill

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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