Orange and Huawei Groundbreaking 157 Tbit/s Transmission over a 120 km Fiber in France Has Set a New World Record

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Huawei and Orange have successfully achieved a new world record1 of 157 Tbit/s transmission prototype testing over a 120 km fiber on the Orange network in South West France. This technical achievement unequivocally demonstrates that Orange’s current infrastructure is fully prepared for transmission technologies that can take on increasing traffic over the next decade.

In June 2022, Huawei released the industry’s first ultra-broadband Super C + Super L solution able to provide 12 THz of spectrum (https://www.huawei.com/en/news/2022/6/ngon-award-optical-green) over a fiber using C band (C for Conventional wavelengths) and L band (L for long wavelengths). In this testing, the total bandwidth was extended to 18 THz by using in-house technologies for S band (S for short wavelengths) and relying on the transmission expertise of Huawei’s French R&D Center. A total number of 240 wavelengths were used to provide a total transmission capacity of 157 Tbit/s, based on Huawei’s advanced high-order constellation shaping modulation algorithm.

While traffic demand increases dramatically each year, spectral efficiency, such as the amount of information transmitted for a given spectrum, appears to improve only half as quickly over the same period. This will lead to the saturation of existing backbone networks. This technology provides a solution to leverage the already-deployed optical fiber systems and secure capacity upgrades without investing in new fiber deployment. The testing demonstrates that innovation and research are and will remain the priority for both companies to cope with future traffic demands and deliver affordable connectivity to customers.

Gilles Bourdon, Vice President for Wireline Networks & Infrastructure, Orange Innovation, declared: “Facing the continuous increase of traffic demand, obtaining more spectrum and therefore more value from our existing assets is crucial. It is even more important as spectral efficiency of such optical systems reaches a theoretical limit. The testing proves the capability of our fiber infrastructure to offer 50 % more spectrum and thus effectively address one of our key topics: the experience and connectivity of our customers.”

Richard Jin, President for the Optical Business Product Line, Huawei, declared: “Huawei has long been committed to strategic investments, research and technological breakthroughs in the optical communications domain, as illustrated by the excellence of our optical research teams, such as the one in Paris. We are delighted to collaborate with an operator as innovative as Orange to contribute, together, to the creation of the network of the future.”