BT concludes significant technology trial between Dublin and London

Jul 29, 2019


  • 400Gb/s Ethernet trial using Probabilistic Constellation Shaping (PCS) & flex-grid super-channel

  • Longest live demonstration of this technology in the world

  • Trial proves the capability of BT’s network to meet future, next-generation demands

BT Ireland together with its BT group colleagues has announced that they have successfully completed a significant trial on the BT network that has proved its ability to support future high speed circuits and interfaces at lower cost and greater distances.

The 400Gb/s Ethernet (400GbE) trial was deployed using a new technique called probabilistic constellation shaping (PCS), which involves manipulating the light wave to increase overall performance. The combination of ‘pure’ 400GbE and PCS is a world first and will enable carriers to drive signals further along the network, at higher bandwidth rates.

The trial took place between Dublin and London earlier this year, over a looped stretch of 1,454km, also making this the longest real world demonstration of this technology in the world to date. It means that the BT network is now fully future proofed and ready to meet the demands that the next wave of technological advancements will bring.

Commenting on the trial, Paul Hackett, head of network design and core capacity, BT Ireland said, “Innovation in communications technology is core to our business, and we are always looking at ways to enhance our network through emerging technologies like 400GbE and PCS. It was a challenging trial, involving an extensive distance using a subsea fibre plan, but the results have been very successful, and we’ll be ready for the early adopters of this technology once the industry catches up with the innovation.”

Dr Katie Brown, Director of Connectivity, BT Technology, said, “Continued traffic growth places huge demands on our underlying optical fibre transmission infrastructure. It is therefore critical that we drive and exploit innovative technology solutions that allow us to deliver increased speeds and fibre optic capacities cost-effectively. This trial, in BT’s live network, demonstrates the viability of key technologies that will allow us to gracefully scale network capacity and to stay ahead of growing demands of our customers. I am extremely proud of these achievements, especially the pragmatic and seamless deployment of these new technologies to support emerging and future high-speed services.”

Paul Hackett added, “To put this into real world context, the scale of this technology would mean the ability to download 50 standard length episodes of Game of Thrones in one second, or the ability to download 16,000+ video streams simultaneously.”

The trial has now paved the way for full commercial deployment of the technology on the BT Ireland core transmission network later this year from Dublin and London.


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