Windstream and Infinera have been busy testing out the next generation of optical gear. Today they announced a successful live network trial of 800G and 700G single-wavelength technology down in the southwestern USA.
The trial leveraged 730km of G.652-compliant SMF-28 fiber on Windstream’s longhaul network between San Diego and Phoenix and Infinera’s ICE6-based gear. Infinera’s platform leverages 64QAM long-codeword probabilistic constellation shaping and of course those Nyquist subcarriers. Windstream’s longhaul network in the southwestern US is a relatively new thing, having been assembled from dark fiber IRUs as the company and took its footprint fully national.
The two companies successfully achieved 800G over that span as well as 700G when looping it back for a total of 1,460km. That’s not as long as other demonstrations have gone, but it’s over non-ideal infrastructure typical of what network operators are likely to use on in the future. In both case performance levels met the requirements for Windstream’s production network standards, with some margin left over.
If all goes well with the rollout, such 700G and 800G connections will start seeing real deployments sometime next year. The economics appear to be there, as is the demand for bandwidth on core longhaul routes. Capacity per fiber will be as much as 70% above that achievable with 400G coherent technology, and 35% compared to 600G, and the reach of 400G itself will stretch out further as well.
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