Open Fiber builds 200Gbps Rome-Florence connection, scalable to 400Gbps

13 February 2018 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

Italian wholesale provider Open Fiber has started a commercial trial of a 200Gbps connection between Rome and Florence as part of its Zion backbone network.

Open Fiber, which is part-owned by electricity company Enel, says that the fibre is software-controlled and can be scaled down to 100Gbps or up to 400Gbps.

"Where typically the big fibre links stop at 40Gbps in Italy, we are the first in Italy and among the first in Europe to achieve these performances," said Stefano Paggi, Open Fiber CTO.

The system uses reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexers (ROADM) and Flex Grid technologies from Huawei.

Richard Jin, president of Huawei’s transmission network product line, said: "Huawei built an elastic 200G OTN [optical transport network] for Open Fiber to provide an optimal user experience and to help Open Fiber succeed."

Electricity company Terna built the passive optical fibre infrastructure for Open Fiber, which said: "Zion can transmit data at 100, 200 and soon even 400Gbps, depending on the needs of the managed service and the optical connection conditions."

Open Fiber added: "With the Flex Grid it will be possible to aggregate multiple optical channels simultaneously on a single optical fibre and therefore manage more and more customers and services, thus being able to fully exploit the very high transmission band of the fibre, in the terabit order – an ability imaginable until a few years ago."

The service will support ultra-broadband applications that will be developed in the coming years, including high resolution video, virtual reality, augmented reality, tactile internet, real time gaming, autonomous driving and others, said Open Fiber, as well as 5G mobile network innovations.

Piaggi said: "The connection is already active and will be used as soon as we complete the other [links] by the end of March."


Topics: Open Fiber, 200Gbps, 400Gpbs, Enel, Italy, Rome, Zion, Huawei, ROADM