Ericsson and Ciena help Telstra set transmission record

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Telstra has set a new world record – certified by Guinness World Records – for the longest un-regenerated terrestrial fibre-optic link, covering a distance of 10,358km (6,436 miles) between Perth and Melbourne.

Telstra has already integrated the link into its core network, running 100Gb/s services over the low-latency optical connection from Sydney to Perth, with an extension from Sydney to Melbourne that is capable of 200Gb/s per wavelength.

David Robertson, director transport and routing engineering Telstra, said: “This new optical technology enables Telstra to provide Australia’s lowest latency link between Sydney and Perth – key access points for trans-Australian and international telecommunications. This high-performance link provides Telstra’s customers differentiation for applications which require high-speed and low latency, such as financial trading or cloud based offerings.”

By eliminating intermediary optical and data regeneration, cost and latency are optimised, the company says. It also allows traffic to be re-routed over extremely long distances when needed, for example in unforeseen natural disaster scenarios, providing enhanced resiliency.

The announcement is also significant because it demonstrates how optical network technology can keep advancing. A spokesperson for Ericssion told Fibre Systems: “While ground breaking capabilities in the optical industry are declared on a regular basis, very few are independently verified. The teams from Telstra and Ericsson in Australia believe that this long distance link is a significant achievement considering it was done along real world terrestrial routes. Previously, this distance was only achievable on specialised high-cost purpose built submarine systems. This distance is substantially greater than previous un-regenerated distances.”

Although the news was announced by Ericsson, Ciena played a key part. To achieve this result, Ericsson and Telstra deployed the latest WaveLogic 3 technology on Ciena’s 6500 packet-optical platform.

Ciena’s equipment was installed in Telstra’s network as a result of a strategic agreement with Ericsson under which Ericsson resells Ciena’s optical equipment to its customers. Announced last year, Telstra is the first public customer resulting from this partnership.

As a demonstration of the system’s future capabilities, the 100Gb/s optical link between Melbourne and Sydney was increased to 200Gb/s per wavelength using Ciena’s recently launched WaveLogic Extreme technology (see Ciena debuts chips, architecture for a web-scale world). Telstra noted that this will allow it to quickly and efficiently increase capacity to support the increase in customer bandwidth demand, when required.


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