Achieving a terabit per channel is an outstanding expansion of fibre’s potential
Comms equipment maker Nokia and Japanese mobile operator Rakuten Mobile have achieved a data speed record of 1 Tbps per channel transmission over Rakuten Mobile’s commercial dense wavelength division multiplexer (DWDM) network, a 500 per cent increase on Rakuten Mobile’s already impressive 200 Gbps domestic download.
In two days in January 2022 the vendor and operator connected two data centres, separated by 135 km across the Kanto region of Japan, with the fastest data speeds ever achieved in a single channel. The intelligence was exchanged between the two facilities using Nokia’s Photonic Service Engine (PSE) whose 150 GHz optical spectrum operated at its full 1 Tbps capacity. Though equipment rarely uses 100 per cent of its potential at all times, the trial shows that Nokia’s equipment can shift 32 Tb/s of data, per fibre, in C-band.
This capacity could be expanded to 64 Tbps by adding L-band over the Nokia DWDM line system used in Rakuten Mobile’s optical network. These could support the latest generations of routers delivering 800 Gbps Ethernet, according to John Lancaster-Lennox, head of Nokia’s Japanese Market Unit. “The Terabit per channel trial [showed] we can dramatically increase fibre capacity and future-proof the Rakuten Mobile network infrastructure to support a new high speed data centre interconnection.”
The Open Line System field trial, over Rakuten Mobile’s existing commercial network, used Nokia’s Photonic Service Engine inhouse Digital Signal Processor (DSP), a compact, high capacity, modular optical networking platform, optimised for Data Centre Interconnect (DCI) applications over metro, regional and long haul links.
Rakuten Mobile said it now scaling up its network capacity to enable 5G connectivity, video and new applications for its mobile subscribers and business partners.
Rakuten Mobile CEO Tareq Amin said Nokia’s 1 Tbps system will make it fleet footed, with a smaller footprint, shrunken opex and greater flexibility to rollout in data centres. “We are delighted with the performance on our optical network. This technical milestone will allow us to maximize bits per fibre and achieve improved power efficiency. The extra capacity will also support our traffic growth, deliver higher bandwidth and allow Rakuten Mobile to provide new service offerings,” said Amin.