Windstream, Infinera transmit 800G over 730 km of SMF-28 fiber in live network trial

June 17, 2020
Live network trial was performed using Infinera’s fifth-generation coherent optical technology, ICE6 (Infinite Capacity Engine), equipped in its Groove (GX) Series platform, over industry-standard G.652-compliant SMF-28 fiber.

Infinera and Windstream today announced the completion of a live network trial that successfully achieved 800 gigabits per second (800G) single-wavelength transmission over 730 kilometers (km) across Windstream’s long-haul network between San Diego and Phoenix.

In addition to achieving real-world network performance at 800G, Windstream and Infinera note the companies set another industry record by looping back the signal to achieve a 700G transmission over 1,460 km.

The trial was performed using Infinera’s fifth-generation coherent optical technology, ICE6 (Infinite Capacity Engine), equipped in its Groove (GX) Series platform over industry-standard G.652-compliant SMF-28 fiber, with both signal rates achieving a performance level that met Windstream’s production network deployment standards.

The companies contend the results of the trial mark a milestone in optical networking by demonstrating that ultra-high-speed optical transmissions, such as 700G and 800G, powered by Infinera’s ICE6 optical engine and Windstream’s high-performance fiber network, can be deployed in real-world network applications over significant distances. This will enable emerging 400 Gigabit Ethernet (400 GbE) services to be supported over longer distances within the Windstream national network.

According to the partners, such high-performance, high-speed transmission will also enable network operators like Windstream to realize increased efficiency in cost per bit and power per bit, as well as increased capacity per fiber by as much as 70 percent compared to third-generation (400G) coherent technology, and by as much as 35 percent compared to fourth-generation (600G) coherent technology.

“Windstream remains committed to staying at the forefront of technological innovation and the superior performance of ICE6 brings real-world value to our network and enables us to meet the explosive growth in bandwidth demands of our customers,” says Buddy Bayer, chief network officer at Windstream. “The flexibility of ICE6 coupled with the easily deployable compact modular form factor of the GX Series will enable Windstream to quickly and easily introduce this new technology across our entire network from edge to core.”

Notably, the 700G and 800G transmission milestones were enabled by advances in Nyquist subcarriers, a pioneering innovation developed by Infinera’s Optical Innovation Center (OIC). Unlike competing technologies, Nyquist subcarrier-based solutions enable superior performance by mapping the traffic into tightly packed, lower-baud-rate digital subcarriers within a single optical carrier.

In addition to providing significant performance benefits on their own, subcarriers also amplify the benefits of other innovations from Infinera’s OIC, such as 64QAM long-codeword probabilistic constellation shaping and dynamic bandwidth allocation, that now can be applied to each sub-carrier independently.

“Infinera is delighted to set this new industry benchmark and partner with Windstream, a network operator that continually pushes the boundaries of optical networking,” concludes Parthiban Kandappan, chief technology officer at Infinera. “As proven by the superior performance of this network trial, we believe our unique expertise with Nyquist subcarriers coupled with the groundbreaking innovations introduced by ICE6 will represent the standard for high-speed optical engines going forward.”

Learn more at www.windstreamwholesale.com and www.infinera.com.

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