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Live fibre network long-haul data session success

22nd July 2020
Alex Lynn

Verizon, along with Infinera, recently completed a successful test in Verizon’s live fibre network to move 800Gbps of data on a single wavelength across extreme distances. This success hopes to lay the groundwork for managing the fast gigabit speeds, super low single-digit millisecond latency, and huge scalability that will come as a result of Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wide Band (UWB) network.

Earlier this year, Verizon announced its successful effort as the first carrier in the industry to move 800 Gbps with multiple vendors over a short distance on a single wavelength. With the completion of this new demonstration, Verizon has advanced this fiber technology to a long-haul scenario.

“With the evolution into more robust 5G applications and solutions, the ability to move massive amounts of data across long distances becomes even more crucial,” said Kevin Smith, Vice President of Technology Planning and Development for Verizon. “Continuing to advance the capabilities of our extensive fibre network alongside advancements in 5G technology, the Radio Access Network, and the network core will result in an unparalleled network experience for our consumer and enterprise customers.”

About the trial

The trial was conducted over Verizon’s live production network with a combination of industry standard fibres. The trial used Infinera’s fifth-generation coherent optical technology, ICE6 (Infinite Capacity Engine), equipped in a GX Series platform and marked the following significant industry achievements:

  • 800 Gbps single-wavelength transmission over 667 km between Nashville and Atlanta
  • 600 Gbps single-wavelength transmission over 2,283 km from Atlanta to Memphis with a loop back in Memphis
  • 400 Gbps single-wavelength transmission over 4,091 km from Atlanta to Dallas with a loop back in Dallas

Parthiban Kandappan, Chief Technology Officer at Infinera, explained: “Verizon continually pursues the latest technology to provide high-speed, reliable transport solutions while meeting demanding network requirements.

“With Infinera’s ICE6 technology, Verizon successfully transmitted high-speed optical signals across substantial distances over all network fibre types. This industry-leading optical innovation coupled with flexible configurations provides a single transmission solution that enables both 800 Gbps over large portions of the network and cross-continental transmission at 400 Gbps.”

Fibre is the foundation

The inherent characteristics of 5G technology will support a wide variety of use cases that include everything from massive numbers of IoT devices that do very little networking, to smartphones with infinite opportunities to use data, to more complex solutions such as AR/VR that will require massive computing capabilities on the edge of the network. Those solutions will each require different combinations of the capabilities 5G will offer. To ‘right-size’ network resources for these various use cases will require great flexibility and agility in the network.

Verizon has added virtualisation throughout the Network, built open RAN platforms, built a containerised core, designed dynamic spectrum sharing, and infused the Network with intelligence to allow AI ML algorithms to drive efficiency and performance. These efforts hope to lead to the greater programmability and agility needed to manage dynamic traffic flows and resources for various 5G applications and solutions. The success of these and other efforts are all reliant on Verizon’s ability to move significant amounts of data through the fibre backhaul network.

“The success of this trial is one more step in the journey to fully realising the power and potential of our 5G UWB network,” said Smith. “As the traffic volume from advanced 5G solutions grows exponentially, our fibre network will be ready to handle it.

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