Deutsche Telekom tests Lucent’s 40G optical equipment

Deutsche Telekom AG (DT) has successfully tested Lucent Technologies Inc.’s next generation fibre optic transmission technology by sending data at 40G bps (bit per second) over a distance of 116 kilometres, the companies said in a statement Wednesday.

The new Lucent system, based on the OC-768/STM-256 standard, can transmit up to 40G bps of data over a single wavelength of light using a single laser. This is the equivalent of seven CD-ROMs worth of data in one second. This is four times faster than the current 10G-bps technology or OC-192 transmission standard on a single wavelength.

OC-768 technology is a critical technology for Lucent as it got beat to the punch by Nortel Networks Corp. on the development of OC-192 products, industry analysts have said. Lucent and Nortel are joined in the OC-768 development race by companies like Ciena Corp. and Optisphere Networks Inc., a subsidiary of Siemens AG, said Chris Nicoll, vice-president of telecommunication infrastructure at Current Analysis Inc. in Sterling, Va.

The first commercial roll out of OC-768 equipment to service providers is expected by 2002, Nicoll said. Lucent on Wednesday did not disclose in its statement when its 40G optical equipment would be commercially available. A spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment.

As for now, 40G-bps optical technology is limited to the laboratory and controlled tests. Similar to its announcement Wednesday, Lucent, working with Global Crossing Ltd., tested 40G optical equipment between Brussels and Antwerp, Belgium in November 2000.

In March, Optisphere and WorldCom Inc. said they had managed to transmit 3.2T bps (bits per second) of data over a total distance of 250 kilometres in a month-long trial using a Siemens/Optisphere’s TransXpress Infinity DWDM (Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing) platform and FOX 40G bps multiplexer.

Lucent’s 40G technology was developed by an international team of Bell Labs researchers and engineers in Nuremberg, Germany; Huizen, the Netherlands; and several U.S. locations: New Jersey, Massachusetts and Illinois.

Lucent Technologies, based in Murray Hill, N.J., can be reached at