Companies claim 3.2 Tbps transmission

Two companies are claiming to have reached a new speed record for data transmission over an existing fibre optic network. Optisphere Networks Inc., a subsidiary of German electronics and engineering conglomerate Siemens AG, and WorldCom Inc. said they had managed to transmit 3.2 Tbps (terrabits per second) of data over a total distance of 250 kilometres in a month-long trial.

The test, using WorldCom’s fibre network routes in the Dallas metropolitan area, is the equivalent of sending more than 3.2 million high-speed Internet connections or 41 million telephone calls at the same time on one fibre, Siemens spokesman Thomas Schepp said Friday.

The companies used Siemens/Optisphere’s TransXpress Infinity DWDM (Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing) platform and FOX 40 Gbps multiplexer. Eighty WDM channels with an individual capacity of 40 Gbps were transmitted over three spans of standard single mode fiber.

Siemens researchers were able to demonstrate a record seven Tbps transmission over a single fibre last October, said Schepp. But WorldCom is the first to implement the technology under “real-world conditions.”

WorldCom, in Jackson, Miss., can be reached at Optisphere, in Reston, Va., is at