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BT core network speed tests smash world records

31 May 2016

Speed test 

Successful fibre optic network trials have seen BT and its partner Huawei score another world first.

They’ve demonstrated the fastest ever speeds of 2 Terabits per second (Tbps) over a live core network link.

The latest development marks a leap forward since 2014, where BT used optical superchannels to achieve 3Tbs over a closed trial network. Now that same technology has been applied to the commercial fibre link carrying live customer traffic between London and Dublin – that’s a stretch across more than 700km of cable.

BT announced that it has also pushed speeds of 5.6Tbps over a single optical fibre running on its trial network, surpassing the 3Tbps record set in 2014.

The speeds are the equivalent to transmitting around 200 HD films in a single second.

The transmission was conducted over a link between BT’s Adastral Park research campus in Suffolk and the BT Tower in London.

Howard Watson, CEO of BT Technology, Service & Operations, said: “These landmark trials show that we can easily turn up the dial to deliver the speeds needed in our core networks to stay well ahead of rising customer demand.”

Super speed

The results demonstrate how BT’s core fibre optic infrastructure could work even more efficiently in the future, reducing the need to invest in more cables as bandwidth demands from consumers and businesses continue to grow.

By using Terabit superchannels and flexible grid infrastructure, BT can increase the speed of its existing core optical networks without the threat of networks grinding to a halt when bandwidth limits are reached.

Howard said: “The core network is the superhighway of the internet. It’s important that 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.

So we’re investing in our core, as well as in high-speed access technology such as fibre broadband, to make sure there is no capacity crunch and deliver the best possible speeds to customers.”

Zha Jun, president of Huawei Fixed Network Product Line, said: “Ultra-High-Speed optical networks are an indispensable infrastructure for the future of digital life, and this is an area where Huawei is investing, to help telcos such as BT squeeze as much capacity out of their core networks as possible."