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Deutsche Telekom Break Record with 512Gbps Data Speed via Fibre Optic Cable

Wednesday, Mar 7th, 2012 (7:53 am) - Score 864

Researchers working for Deutsche Telekom (DT), a German telecommunications giant, and Alcatel-Lucent have broken last year’s world record (here) after they were successfully able to send 400Gbps (Gigabits per second) worth of usable data over a long distance single optical-fiber wavelength channel (running at a total of 512Gbps – the difference was used for error correction) for the first time.

Crucially the transfer record, which very roughly equates to a simultaneous transmission of 77 music CDs, was set under real world conditions in the existing DT optical network on a route of 734km from Berlin to Hanover and back. That’s more than double last year’s record of 186Gbps, which was set by an international team of scientists working at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

By comparison Deutsche Telekom claims that the maximum bit rate in backbone networks today is 100Gbps per channel. But, as a result of the latest development, using all of the channels of an optical fibre could now permit a throughput of up to 24.6Tbps (Terabits per second) to be attained on the maximum of 48 available channels.

T-Labs Manager, Heinrich Arnold, said:

Together with our technology partner Alcatel-Lucent and the experts at Telekom Network Production, we are very proud of having attained this tremendous transmission performance over the Internet under real-world conditions.

With them, we have successfully developed an innovative method by which the transmission capacity of optical fiber can be increased significantly in network operation.”

The feat was achieved by using “innovative transmission technology” with two carrier frequencies, two polarization planes, 16-QAM quadrature amplitude modulation and digital offline signal processing for the “equalization of fiber influences with soft-FEC forward error correction” decoding in the receiver. Meanwhile the WDM transmission link consisted of 14 standard single-mode fibre sections with dispersion compensation.

In short, they managed to pump a huge amount of additional data down an existing fibre optic line, which could ultimately help to lower the cost of bandwidth to broadband ISPs and support the growing demands for both international (e.g. undersea fibre cables), national and local data capacity. Major science projects, such as CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC), could also stand to benefit as they need to deliver vast amounts of data every second.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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