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First successful North American field trial of 400 Gbps transmissions over live network


April 10, 2013 – Alcatel-Lucent and Shaw Communications say they have achieved a “ground-breaking milestone” with the successful first field trial in North America of 400 Gbps (Gigabit-per-second) data transmission over an existing optical link carrying live network traffic.

The trial ran over a 400-km route between Calgary and Edmonton using Shaw’s current high-capacity transport network designed for speeds up to 100 Gbps. Using Alcatel-Lucent’s 400 Gbps technology, the trial demonstrated the ability of an existing optical network carrying up to 17.6 Tbps (Terabits-per-second)—the equivalent to 266 million voice calls or the transmission of 88 Blu-ray discs in a single second.

Alcatel-Lucent says Shaw is the first service provider in North America to trial 400 Gbps optical technology. This was developed by Bell Labs—the research organization within Alcatel-Lucent—to address the capacity requirements that networks are experiencing with the emergence of new applications, services and smart devices that require high bandwidth and seamless connectivity.

“400G will not only help operators like Shaw to handle larger levels of traffic faster, but the technology’s higher efficiency will also help Shaw’s ongoing commitment to reducing energy consumption while also optimizing operating and network maintenance costs,” said Alex Giosa, president, Alcatel-Lucent Canada.