Nokia and Etisalat achieve more than 50Tbps in network field trial


Nokia and Etisalat have claimed a world first with the completion of a single-carrier terabit-per-second (Tbps) field trial.

[Left to right: : Ali Jamal, Engineer, Transport Network Planning, Etisalat; Mohammad Abid Farooq, Manager, Transport Network Development, Etisalat; Abdulla Al Khawwar, Senior Manager, Transport Network Development, Etisalat; Adel S. Samhan, Vice President, Network Infrastructure Development, Etisalat; Amin Nafa, Head of the Etisalat UAE Customer team at Nokia; Esmaeel Alhammadi, Senior Vice President, Network Development, Etisalat; Samer Makke, Account Manager, Etisalat UAE Customer Team at Nokia; Islam Younis, Optical Business Development Leader, Nokia, Middle East.]

Carried out over Etisalat’s fibre network in UAE the tests sets a new optical transmission capacity record. The trial successfully achieved speeds of 50.8 Tbps using multiple wavelengths, each with a net information rate of 1.3Tbps, over a 93-km fibre route of Etisalat’s wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) network. 

“The introduction of 5G will require a network that can support dramatic increases in bandwidth in a dynamic fashion,” said Sam Bucci, head of optical networking at Nokia. “This ground-breaking trial with Etisalat is testimony to Nokia’s commitment to continue to invest in coherent and optical component technologies required to meet the 5G networking challenge at the lowest total cost of ownership for our customers.”

Using a single optical carrier operating at 100 Gigabaud, the terabit wavelengths used Nokia Bell Labs-pioneered probabilistic constellation shaping (PCS), to intelligently shape the signal to achieve maximum capacity for the specific fibre route. Nokia’s Photonic Service Engine 3 is the first coherent digital signal processor to implement PCS.

"We are pleased to have partnered with Nokia Bell Labs to demonstrate that our optical network is capable of transporting a terabit per second over a single wavelength, and a total per-fibre capacity of over 50 terabits-per-second,” added Esmaeel Alhammadi, senior vice president of network development at Etisalat. “Increasing network capacity helps us to provide bandwidth-hungry services such as 5G extreme mobile broadband, fibre-to-the-home and DCI for enterprises.”

The demonstration comes as Etisalat is investing heavily in its core network infrastructure in preparation for 5G. This field trial demonstrates that Etisalat’s existing network can support the higher optical wavelength bit rates that will be required to support high-bandwidth services such as 5G extreme mobile broadband, fibre-to-the-home and data centre interconnect (DCI) cloud services.