Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and Ciena ® Corporation (Nasdaq: CIEN), the network specialist, successfully completed a live field trial of a 1Terabit/sec (Tb/s) optical transmission spanning nearly 1,000 km. By demonstrating the ability to increase the traffic carrying capacity by 2.5 times, this trial showed how Comcast’s existing fiber network can scale to keep pace with the bandwidth demands of cloud computing, video, and multimedia applications, as well as data center connectivity. The companies made the announcement today at the SCTE Tec-Expo taking place at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.
The 1Tb/s trial took place during the first week of October over Comcast’s existing long-haul fiber infrastructure connecting Ashburn, Va. to Charlotte, N.C. This is believed to be the first trial in which live data traffic was carried over a 1Tb/s 16QAM super-channel on an existing, commercial network. At the same time, that network was also carrying customer traffic over 10G, 40G and 100G wavelengths, all coexisting on a mix of flexible and 50GHz-spacedfixed grid channels.
The 1Tb/s trial used Ciena’s 6500 Packet-Optical Platform solution that combined flexible grid Reconfigurable Optical Add/Drop Multiplexers (ROADM) with 16QAM coherent modulation to achieve 5b/s/Hz of spectral efficiency over a distance of nearly 1,000 km of uncompensated ELEAF fiber. Ciena’s next generation Raman and programmable gain amplifiers, the newest addition to the WaveLogic intelligent coherent portfolio, provided optimized performance and system reach. The trial ran in parallel over the same optical infrastructure that supports a combination of HD video, Internet and voice traffic on Comcast’s existing 100G national backbone.
“We continue to work with Ciena to leverage our already installed Ciena 6500 platforms to deliver more content, faster Internet speeds and enable new cloud-based applications for our customers,” said Steve Surdam executive director, Network Engineering at Comcast Cable. “As we look to continuously evolve our network infrastructure, Ciena’s high-capacity Terabit optical technology will give us the flexibility and scalability required to future proof our network to deliver next-generation products and services for our customers.”