Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) has completed a live field trial of a 1 Terabit per second optical transmission network that spans nearly 1,000 km. The trial occurred in early October over Comcast's long-haul fiber network connecting Ashburn, Va., to Charlotte, N.C. The trial carried live data traffic over a 1 Tbps 16 QAM super-channel on an existing commercial network that was also carrying customer traffic over 10G, 40G and 100G wavelengths.
Comcast teamed with vendor Ciena on the trial. The company said the trial demonstrated Comcast's existing fiber network's ability to increase its capacity by 2.5 times. Comcast said that type of capacity may be necessary to handle increasing demands of cloud computing, video and other multimedia applications.
The trial used Ciena's 6500 packet-optical platform, which combined flexible grid reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexers with 16 QAM coherent modulation to achieve 5 b/s/Hz of special efficiency over the 1,000 KM distance. Comcast already uses Ciena's coherent 40G and 100G technologies in its nationwide fiber network. The company's packet networking solutions also support Comcast's Metro Ethernet offering.
Comcast isn't the only one testing Terabit optical transmission. In March 2012, Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and NEC conducted a field trial transmitting 21.7 Tbps over 1,503 km (934 miles) of standard single mode field fiber on the telco's network in the Dallas area.
- see this press release
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