World-first trials of next-generation transmission

Tuesday, 04 August, 2009

Telstra and Nortel have successfully completed trials of next-generation 100 Gbps and 40 Gbps transmission over the longest distances ever attempted. A continuous 2038 km fibre-optic link between Adelaide and Sydney was used for the 100 Gbps trial, while the 40 Gbps trial took place over 3370 km on a looped-back section of the Sydney to Adelaide route. Both trials used Nortel optical technology on existing Telstra fibre.

Telstra Networks & Services Group Managing Director Michael Rocca said the trials were groundbreaking and indicative of Telstra's drive to keep leading the market with technological innovation.

"Carriers the world over are looking for the next generation of transmission technology because customer bandwidth needs are quickly surpassing current limits," Rocca said.

"These trials with Nortel demonstrate that our existing network is capable of transporting even larger amounts of network traffic without incurring the cost of major equipment and infrastructure upgrades. Of course, they also contribute to the development of technology that will eventually benefit not only Australian consumers but also the worldwide telecommunications industry."

The continuing increase in the resolution and definition of online video and enterprise applications such as videoconferencing are two of the main drivers of bandwidth demand. Telstra has experienced a tenfold increase in network traffic on national inter-capital routes and recently announced it will upgrade the Sydney to Melbourne transmission link from 10 to 40 Gbps to cope with the surge in demand.

Both trials successfully used Nortel's Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) links to enable unregenerated transmission on Telstra's underlying optical fibre infrastructure over a two-week period from 3–17 July.

Nortel Asia Vice President Carrier Networks Anthony McLachlan said that, together with Telstra, Nortel was able to achieve a milestone by transmitting 100 Gbps data on Telstra's existing fibre-optic network over an unprecedented distance of 2038 km without the need to refresh or regenerate the data at any point.

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