Seacom tests 500Gb/s fibre network
Undersea fibre-optic cable system operator Seacom has announced it has successfully five 100 Gb/s channels of coherent optical transmission over more than 1 700 km.
The 500Gb/s trial was run over and looped back across Seacom’s newly built 930 kilometre Dark Fibre Africa (DFA) fibre route which links the Mtunzini cable landing station in KwaZulu Natal to the Teraco datacentre in Johannesburg.
The live demonstration was witnessed by members of the scientific, research and development community at Teraco’s datacentre in Johannesburg.
“This event is a landmark achievement and a global first. It also signals the international science research and development community that global projects such as the Square Kilometre Array are well within Africa’s reach. The trial demonstrates SEACOM’s commitment to increase the pace at which African networks are deploying cutting-edge telecommunications infrastructure technology,” said Brian Herlihy, Seacom CEO.
The trial used US company, Infinera’s 500 Gb/s Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs), each which integrates five 100 Gb/s coherent channels onto a single chip. The PICs were used for both transmitting and receiving the five 100 Gb/s signals during the trial, the first time the PICs have been used to send and provide real time coherent processing for all 500Gb/s simultaneously on a production network.
Infinera plans to deliver the 500Gb/s PICs as part of a system which integrates 5 Terabit per second (Tb/s) OTN switching and 100Gb/s coherent optical transmission in early 2012.
Enabling seamless upgrades from existing 10Gb/s networks without having to upgrade the underlying fibre infrastructure, this technology provides Seacom’s land-based network in SA with a total capacity of over 8 Tb/s per fibre. This is in line and in support of Seacom’s plans to expand the marine portion of the cable to over 4.8 Tb/s.
“With Internet traffic growing at exponential rates, driven by video, cloud computing, and mobility, the 500G PIC technology is designed to support the required growth in network capacity, while reducing the per-bit cost, space, and power consumption. These attributes are in-line with SEACOM’s vision to providing world-class infrastructure as African traffic continues to increase at record speeds,” said Infinera CEO, Tom Fallon.