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Nokia pushes fibre speed to 1Tbps per channel for Rakuten

Tareq Amin Rakuten.jpg

Nokia and Japanese operator Rakuten Mobile have pushed the speed of fibre to 1Tbps per channel to connect data centres.

The trial demonstrates the ability to increase network capacity and efficiency over existing optical line system infrastructure, said Nokia. It used Rakuten’s existing commercial fibre network, and a whole fibre could carry 64Tbps by using all wavelengths.

Tareq Amin (pictured), CEO of Rakuten Mobile, said: “We are delighted with the performance of 1Tbps per channel on our optical network in collaboration with Nokia. This technical milestone will allow us to maximize bits per fibre and achieve improved power efficiency.”

The trial took place over two days in January 2022 and connected two data centres 135km apart in the Kantō region in Japan – the area around Tokyo.

The transmission was over Rakuten Mobile’s existing commercial dense wavelength division multiplexer (DWDM) network, a speed increase of 500% on Rakuten Mobile’s existing network running at 200Gbps.

John Lancaster-Lennox, Nokia’s head of the Japan market unit, said: “The 1 terabit per channel trial demonstrated the capability to dramatically increase fibre capacity and future-proof the Rakuten Mobile network infrastructure to support new high speed data centre interconnection.”

Amin added: “The enhanced capacity will also support our traffic growth, deliver higher bandwidth and enable Rakuten Mobile to provide new service offerings.” Amin was CTO of disruptive Indian operator Jio before joining Rakuten in 2018.

Nokia said the speed was achieved using coherent transmission powered by Nokia’s photonic service engine supporting 1Tbps capacity over a 150GHz optical spectrum.

The trial demonstrated the ability to deliver 32Tbps per fibre in C-band which can be expanded to 64Tbps by adding L-band over a Nokia DWDM line system used in Rakuten Mobile’s optical network. This is “vital to providing maximum capacity for the ever-increasing data demands and to support the latest generations of routers delivering 800Gbps Ethernet”, said Nokia.

This is timely, as Rakuten Mobile is scaling up its network capacity to enable 5G connectivity, video and new applications for its mobile subscribers and business partners. The 1Tbps upgrade will enable it “to reduce its footprint, improving operational expenditure and flexibility to rollout in data centres”, Nokia said.

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