BT Tests Superchannel, 100-Gbps Broadband Optical Network Technologies

June 15, 2017

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Separate units of BT have tested superchannel and high-speed broadband optical transmission technologies. The service provider worked with Innovation Martlesham company Huawei on both demonstrations.

In the first demonstration, BT Labs paired with Huawei to test a 400-Gbps single-carrier optical transmission technology developed by researchers at the BT Labs facility in Adastral Park, Ipswich. The demonstration saw multiple such carriers combined into a superchannel. BT researchers believe the technology can be used to transmit more than 13 Tbps over a single fiber within the same spectral width as the 5.6-Tbps superchannel demonstration they conducted with Huawei last year. The most recent demonstration showed a spectral efficiency of 6.25 bits/s/Hz, BT says.

The optical transmission demonstration used a live fiber loop between Adastral Park and BT’s Bishops Stortford Exchange over a distance of 250 km.

Meanwhile, BT’s Openreach access network business unit has been busy with Huawei on a demonstration of 100 Gbps broadband delivery at Adastral Park. The demonstration used a standard residential fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) connection with what Openreach termed an “advanced transmission technology” co-developed with Huawei. Openreach didn’t describe the technology. Huawei has discussed its work in 25-Gbps per-wavelength and higher (see, for example, “Huawei touts symmetrical 25G PON”). However, Openreach described the test setup as transmitting “a 100-Gbps signal” (emphasis Lightwave’s).

Openreach says it next will partner with Huawei “to evolve the global PON (passive optical network) standards and push towards field trialing the technology as the industry chain matures.”

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