Alcatel-Lucent stuffs 31Tbps down a cable

Global telecoms giant Alcatel-Lucent is claiming the new world record for pushing data down a fibre cable.

It claims it has transmitted data at 31Tbps over a single long-haul 7200km optical fibre cable.

The experiment was carried out at by the firms R&D focused Bell Labs division on the Innovation City campus in Villarceaux.

It used 155 lasers, each operating at different frequencies and carrying 200Gbps of data over a 50GHz frequency grid.

The researchers managed to get that much data down the wire by cutting back distortions and noise on the line.

They did this using an enhanced version of Wavelength Division Multiplexing that splits light into different wavelengths so that it can carry more data.

Philippe Keryer, Alcatel-Lucent’ Chief Strategy and “Innovation Officer”, said that undersea fibre-optic transmission as integral to the digital economy and jacking up the bandwidth will improve the internet.

He said customers were facing increasing demand on their networks for data capacity and higher-speeds of transmission, so the carriers had to come up with ways to transform global data networks.

The evolution of the technology started in May 2011 when a team of German, UK and Swiss scientists successfully used Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing to send data at a rate of 26Tbps over a 50km long single-mode fibre optic cable.

Last year a Japanese team working out of NEC transmitted 4Tbps over a single “ultra-long haul” fibre optic cable without any repeaters.

Earlier this year there was a test in the UK of a new type of hollow fibre optic cable that yielded speeds of 73.7 Tbps.