Japanese operators demo 118.5Tbps capacity over conventional fibre

10 August 2017 | James Pearce

NTT, KDDI and Sumitomo have partnered to set a new transmission capacity record of 118.5Tbps over conventional optical fibre.

Fibre 160x186The test saw the Japanese operators partner with the likes of Fujikura, Furukawa Electric, NEC and the Chiba Institute of Technology to deploy a multi-core transmission system which was constructed using three multi-core optical amplifiers inserted at each end of three spans of cable.

The multi-core fibre solution included four optical paths that fit the same diameter as a single core solution, trialled across 316km 

The companies said they hope to introduce the technology - which also demonstrates the concept of multi-core fibre in long-haul solutions whilst using multiple vendors – in the early 2020s.

The test resulted in what the combined companies claim is the world’s largest transmission capacity of 118.25Tbps over conventional optical fibre technology.

A joint statement said: "World wide spread of various mobile terminal and data services continuously increases the transmission capacity more than 10% per year all over the world. This trend may cause capacity crunch in the currently used optical fibre by the late 2020s. Moreover, the expansion of optical fibre count and the convergence of optical wiring particularly in the data centre and/or central office, which is caused by the world wide data capacity increase, would be serious problem. 

With these as backgrounds, a multi-core fibre having multiple optical paths (cores) in one fibre has been investigated intensively all over the world in order to overcome the future capacity crunch and to realize the high density or space saving optical facilities. For example, ultra large capacity transmission experiments using a multi-core fibre with 10 cores or more have been demonstrated.

"However, these high core count multi-core fibre usually needs a thicker glass diameter, and it requires an extreme advance in the fabrication process and further development on sub-components. As a result, it is considered that 10 years or so would be necessary to make the high core count multi-core fibre practical."

Topics: NTT, KDDI, Sumitomo, fibre, Japan, Fujikura, Furukawa Electric, NEC, Chiba Institute of Technology