Ciena, Ericsson and Telstra recently announced they had successfully demonstrated 400 gigabit per second (Gbps) speeds over 61.5 GHz spectrum on Telstra’s transmission network in Melbourne. This demonstrates the highest spectral efficiency per fibre pair ever achieved in a live environment and enables up to 30.4 terabit per second (Tbps) bandwidth on Telstra’s transmission network in Melbourne. This demonstration achieves world’s highest transmission capacity over a single fiber pair. Previously, the highest capacity on record was 25.6 Tbps. And it also achieved 24 Tpbs transmission capacity over a single fiber pair using C+L dual-band technology on PLCN subsea cable network.

Ciena asserts the demonstration recorded the highest capacity achieved to date, up to 30.4 Tbps per fiber pair. The trail used what the company claims is the world's first fully programmable coherent modem, which can deliver as much as a three times improvement in data capacity. Telstra has deployed this WaveLogic AI modem in its network, which Ciena says also enables up to a 60% reduction in power per bit versus the modem technology Telstra currently deploys.

Telstra is completing an upgrade across its long haul, metro, and regional fiber-optic network under the Networks for the Future program to offer optimized capacity, improved resiliency, and completely programmable capabilities, of which this technology will be a part, says Ciena.

"Over the next five years we forecast traffic on our network will grow by five times," said David Robertson, Telstra's director of IP and transport engineering. "We are investing in our network and developing these innovations to meet this growing demand by providing unprecedented levels of scale, automation, and intelligence. This technology will be deployed in our domestic transmission network and we will look for opportunities to use it in Telstra's international subsea cable network, which is the largest in the Asia-Pacific region."

According to Ciena, deploying software programmable 400-Gbps wavelengths using Ciena's WaveLogic Ai modem technology on the 6500 Packet-Optical platform, in combination with Ciena's Blue Planet Manage Control Plan (MCP) and Liquid Spectrum applications made the 30.4 Tbps per fiber pair possible. Ciena says WaveLogic Ai offers maximum network performance at a reduced cost, with tunable capacity up to 400Gbps.

The technology is operated by Ciena's Blue Planet MCP domain controller and Liquid Spectrum applications, which offers a software-defined platform that will enable networks to predict and address emerging connectivity and capacity issues.

Ericsson provided end-to-end systems integration to supply, install, and integrate the optical equipment into Telstra's transmission network, and managed the technology deployment for this demonstration, together with Telstra and Ciena.