People have been messing around with this in the labs but now it’s real and in the field: Alcatel-Lucent and France Telecom-Orange have deployed a long-distance terrestrial 400 Gbps optical fiber link that, as it uses 44 such wavelengths, can carry a whopping 17.6 terabits per second (Tbps) of traffic in aggregate.
Why is this important? Because telecoms operators’ networks are always facing a capacity crunch, mainly thanks to the explosion in cloud and online video, and there’s always a need to pump more bits through the system. We’re now looking at the next generation of such connectivity, alive and kicking.
The link, which is based on Alcatel-Lucent’s 400 Gbps Photonic Service Engine, runs between Paris and Lyon, and the first tester is the French educational and research network Renater. The early use cases for this bump up from now-standard 100 Gbps wavelength technology will most likely be found in business and research, for services such as telepresence that will make good use of the boosted bandwidth.
“This link transports the bulk of France’s scientific data that passes through our network,” Renater MD Patrick Donath said in a statement. “This pilot phase also aims to test the latest switching equipment supplied by major OEMs on a network running at this capacity and will enable us the anticipate the architecture of Renater’s network in the coming years.
“A 400 Gbps network is an important step forward for the networks and research projects of tomorrow.”