Alcatel-Lucent and BT claim to have achieved fibre speeds of up to 1.4 Tbps on existing core fibre connections and a 42.5 percent increase in spectral efficiency.
A field trial, conducted over an existing 410km fibre link between the BT Tower and BT's Adastral Park research campus last November, featured “Flexgrid” – a new flexible grid infrastructure – and an “Alien Super Channel”.
According to BT, Flexgrid enabled an increase in core network capacity using existing optical fibre by varying the gaps between transmission channels.
The operator said this approach “potentially” could reduce the expense of laying more fibre as bandwidth demands grow.
Meanwhile, the Alien Super Channel comprised seven 200 Gbps channels bundled together. BT explained it is “alien” because it operates transparently on top of BT’s existing optical network.
Together, the two companies said the new technologies created what is “believed to be” the fastest speed ever achieved in commercial grade hardware in a real-world environment.
A speed of 1Tbps is equivalent to transmitting 44 HD films in a second.
“These trials… allow us to support the ever increasing bandwidth required by our customers, and deliver new and exciting services which rely on fast, data-hungry applications,” commented Dr Tim Whitley, BT's MD of Research and Innovation.