The demonstration achieved a 6-fold increase in optical data speed to 57.6 terabit per second (Tbps), compared to 9.6 Tbps speed available with today’s commercial systems. The technique employed spatial multiplexing over solid-core multi-mode fibre. This capacity breakthrough has been recognized at the European Conference on Optical Communications (ECOC).
“With this record data rate we can transmit, over a single fibre, double the capacity required for 7 billion people – the world’s population – to be connected over simultaneous phone calls,” said Robert Richter, head of R&D optical networks at NSN. “But this is only the beginning. By 2020, we will be able to support 100 times this capacity, which means that a single fibre would have enough capacity to deliver 40 million different TV streams – for example one for every household in Germany – simultaneously.”
In addition, the spatial multiplexing technology is expected to have a huge impact on the world economy for example when combined with hollow-core photonic band gap fibres. High-frequency trading firms, for example, which rely on fast data connections and today account for 73% of the entire US equity trading volume, are expected to benefit from the low latency of optical transmission.
The technical advance has been achieved by the ModeGap consortium, whose members include NSN, the University of Southampton and the Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, among others
The project was partially funded by the European Union under its seventh framework program. Under the scope of the project, components, fibre and digital signal processing concepts are being developed by the consortium for spatial multiplexing over photonic band gap fibres in the 1.55 and 2 micrometre region.
“Nokia Siemens Networks is our preferred partner in the industry, as the company provides a crucial vision of system requirements and technology roadmaps,” said Professor David Richardson from the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) at Southampton University, which is renowned for its ground breaking research in optical communication.
“It was the system know-how of the NSN research team that made the record possible. Our university is very much looking forward to continuing this fruitful cooperation.”
The technical details of the demonstration were presented during the prestigious European Conference on Optical Communications (ECOC) in Amsterdam, as a contribution to the event’s post-deadline session.