TeraFlex™ and the future of optical transport

Fibre optics

It’s been a busy few months for our FSP 3000 TeraFlex™. Following a series of 600Gbit/s trials showing how the solution addresses the growing bandwidth needs of metro DCI networks, TeraFlex succeeded in a unique ultra-long-haul demo. 300Gbit/s of data was transported over a 6,800km fiber link representative of a cost-optimized submarine cable. 

The success of this test was built on TeraFlex™’s unrivaled flexibility, which gives operators complete control over modulation format, symbol rate and channel spacing. It enables transmission capacity to be maximized on any fiber link, and this is what makes TeraFlex™ a truly multi-haul solution.

With the growth of cloud-based services creating rapid expansion in subsea networks, this trial broadened the horizons of what can be achieved in terms of capacity and modulation flexibility over enormous distances. And, by transmitting 300Gbit/s in a 70GHz channel spacing, it also broke new ground for spectral efficiency.

Multiple records

Then came this summer when we decided to push the envelope even further in a series of field trials over a commercial long-haul terrestrial network built for 100Gbit/s services. Using Tele2 Estonia’s Baltic Highway, which stretches across Europe between Tallinn and Frankfurt, we set out to break a host of industry records.

Thanks to its network telemetry and fractional QAM capabilities, the FSP 3000 TeraFlex™ was able to automatically configure modulation format and baud rates. This allowed us to achieve 200Gbit/s per wavelength transmission over a distance of 5,738km with 2.5bit/symbol modulation – setting a new benchmark for capacity and reach as well as wavelength efficiency. 

There were several record-breaking results in these demos conducted with our partners PSNC, EENet of HITSA and Tele2 Estonia. They included a 300Gbit/s per wavelength transmission over 3,751km with 3bit/symbol and 500Gbit/s over 1,016km with 5bit/symbol modulation. What’s more, we were even able to prove the feasibility of 800Gbit/s transmission over 1,016km in a single 125GHz spectral slice.

Maximum efficiency

Most recently, our TeraFlex™ has been in action in Italy, showing how much more value communication service providers can extract from their deployed infrastructure. In joint trials with Telecom Italia, we demonstrated that their metro-regional network built for just 10Gbit/s channels can be made to carry 60 times more traffic.

The trial saw 600Gbit/s transmitted alongside existing live traffic. It proved that with TeraFlex™ deployed infrastructure can be made to transport far more data than was ever thought possible while also saving opex and delivering improvement to performance and port efficiency.

Optimizing all optical paths

As well as TeraFlex™’s ultra-flexible modulation functionality based on software-defined fractional QAM modulation and adaptive baud rate capabilities, these recent demos are also clear indications of the power of an open approach to building networks. Specifically engineered for a disaggregated environment, our FSP 3000 TeraFlex™ operates with other best-in-class components and is ready to be deployed over new and existing line systems.

To learn more about our TeraFlex solution and the rise of disaggregated networking and multi-haul technology watch our recent webinar with Cignal AI and Acacia Communications.

And watch this space for the next stage …

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