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Network Jun 20, 2016

BT and Huawei break data speed world record

By Alan Shanley Director of Customer Service at BT

The bandwidth explosion continues and there is no sign of it slowing down. Core networks are like the motorways of the internet; we need to add many more lanes to keep ahead of the demand and leverage breakthrough technologies to let us run lots more traffic on them.

There are many factors in our business and personal lives that continue to drive demand, from enterprises needing remote working solutions that can connect employees anywhere in the world, to emerging IoT solutions that bring an increasing number of devices on to networks, including fridges, heating systems, sound systems alarms, the list goes on.

Innovation essential

Rising to the challenge, network providers need to find a way of balancing their costs while presenting customers with competitive solutions.  At BT we continue to invest in our core network to make sure there is no capacity crunch, ensuring our customers experience as fast speeds as possible and the highest quality of service. The best way to do this is through innovation.

BT recently set new world speed records for delivering data. Working with our research team at Adastral Park in Suffolk and Huawei, we delivered two terabits of data per second (Tbps) over a 700km link between London and Dublin. That’s the equivalent of downloading around 70 HD films per second. We did it over a core network that carries customer data. Our success scooped us the “fixed infrastructure innovation” award at the Global Telecoms Business Awards.

Howard Watson, Chief Executive of BT Technology, Service & Operations, put our innovation in context.

It’s important our core networks keep pace with the growth in bandwidth demands driven by take-up of high-speed fibre broadband, HD content, 4G smartphones and tablets. And in the future, 5G services.

Taste of things to come

We were able to go even faster over a single optical fibre on our trial network. Speeds reached 5.6Tbps between our labs in Adastral Park and BT Tower. That’s like downloading almost 200 HD films per second. It gives a teasing insight into what we can hope to achieve on live networks in the near future.

These landmark trials show we can easily turn up the dial to deliver the speeds needed in our core networks to stay well ahead of rising customer demand added Howard.

We are investing to help BT squeeze as much capacity out of its core networks as possible.

The knock-on effect of all this innovation will be good news for BT and our customers here. With our resilient high-speed network and two data centres on the island, we can create a unique proposition for our customers in terms of security, capacity and resilience.

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