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Is that a FAT PIPE or are you just pleased to stream me? TERABIT fibre tested

Trials conducted over a 1,000km long link

Proximus and Huawei have successfully trialled a super-channel optical signal, flinging out information at up to one terabit per second (Tbps).

Tech lothario Huawei shacked up with Belgian box-wrecker Proximus back in January.

The pairing has now produced a single super-channel optical transport network (OTN) card with a transmission speed of a pretty hefty 1Tbps, running along Proximus' optical backbone.

Although the speed is claimed to be a record, Alcatel-Lucent and BT managed to achieve 1.4 Tbps using BT's fibre-optic pipe between the BT Tower and BT's Adastral Park in Ipswich.

As The Register noted at the time, the really impressive achievement was the spectral efficiency: at 5.7 bits per second per Hertz, it is the highest ever recorded.

Proximus/Huawei's transmission speed was conducted over a 1,040km fiber link using an advanced "Flexgrid" infrastructure with Huawei's Optical Switch Node OSN 9800 platform.

The companies claim their approach increases the capacity on a fiber cable by compressing the gaps between transmission channels. "The technique increases the density of the transmission channels on fiber, making it around 150 per cent more efficient than today’s typical 100Gbps core network links," they said.

Jeffrey Gao, president of the Huawei transmission network product line, said the network "is turning to data center centric, which brings a boost demand for increased bandwidth", adding that "businesses are currently undergoing a digital transformation and consumers require always-on connectivity."

Geert Standaert, chief technology officer at Proximus, said "together with Huawei we want to let our network infrastructure evolve to support current and future bandwidth demands."

The companies announced that the purpose of the test was to determine whether Huawei's technology can be integrated into the core network, to anticipate the constant and growing customers demand for more bandwidth.

"By reusing the existing optical platform, chassis and slot, we can hence upgrade the transmission capacity of the core network links from 16Tbps to 20Tbps," said the statement. We'll see. ®

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