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
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
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