Ericsson (Nasdaq: ERIC) is touting what it calls the first successful trial of a 1 Tbps (1,000 gigabits) link over 995 kilometers of existing fiber optic network operated by Telstra (ASX: TLS.AX) in Australia. The trial marks the first successful move of high-speed broadband technology from the Ericsson labs to the field, the company said.
Ericsson's ultra-high-speed transmission over the Telstra link between Sydney and Melbourne is a harbinger of things to come in the way of higher quality broadband services, including in particular, IPTV, the two participants noted, and an indication that today's fiber networks can handle the increased bandwidth loads.
"Like so many developed countries, Australia is a very technologically advanced market and Australians are sophisticated users of broadband and mobile technology. In addition, there is widespread smartphone, tablet, IPTV and HDTV take-up. Supporting all these services requires and ever-growing capacity in backhaul and inter-city transmission," Alessandro Panel, head of Ericsson R&D optical transmission, said in an Ericsson press release.
That demand always threatens to outstrip current transmission capabilities, which is why the test results were so heartening, added David Robertson, director of transport and routing engineering at Telstra.
"The trial has proven that our existing optical cable plant can support Tbps channels along with 40 Gbps and 100 Gbps channels simultaneously on the same fiber, verifying that we have the ability to increase capacity on our existing fiber cables when required," Robertson said in the press release.
Hitting 1 Tbps and deploying 1 Tbps are, of course, different things. Telstra might be able to transmit at those speeds but the multiservice provider is now in the process of using only a tenth of that.
"We are currently upgrading our optical transmission networks with Ericsson's next generation 100 Gbps technology and this trial demonstrates that the higher 1 Tbps speeds are possible," said Robertson.
Ericsson said that the terabit system is not a one-and-done thing but part of a longer strategy to advance broadband speeds. As such, it has optical characteristics that are software-configurable and frequency packing for "high spectral efficiency," the company said. It also uses advanced forward error correction (FEC) for "superior performance in the communications channel."
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