Orange, Nokia claim first successful trial of next-gen optical technology

Orange and Nokia have successfully completed a significant trial testing fifth-generation photonic service engine (PSE-V) chipsets over a live transmission on the operator’s pan-European network.

The technology is designed to triple the total transported capacity on long-haul links and reduce energy consumption by 50%, thanks to the performance leap offered by probabilistic constellation shaping (PCS), while using what Orange says is the existing “highly flexible and future proof” infrastructure.

The PSE-V new-generation components also require less active equipment end to end. This promises enhanced reliability of long-haul networks, and quality of service thanks to more robust algorithms and the introduction of telemetry, as well as artificial intelligence.

Over three weeks, tests were run alongside live commercial traffic on the Orange International Networks Infrastructures and Services pan-European backbone. The tests were conducted from the Paris network node to 15 points of presence (PoPs) creating 400Gbps services with reaches of up to 3,400km, enabling non-stop transmission from Paris to anywhere in Europe and beyond.

Also, bitrates up to 600Gbps with spectral efficiency of more than 6Gbits/s/GHz have been implemented over paths longer than 1,000km.

The companies said the successful trial using the Orange network in June 2020 opens new possibilities to interconnect European datacentre hubs and integrate them into new-generation global submarine systems, allowing 27Tbps to be carried on a single pair of fibres between Paris and Lyon, for example.

Among the direct applications of this technology will be possibilities to support the new ultra-high bitrate services on long-distance networks and the broadcasting of large-scale live sports events.

Jean-Luc Vuillemin, executive vice-president at Orange International Networks Infrastructures and Services (OINIS), said: “We continuously benchmark our vendors’ technology advances in real-life scenarios to make sure every new development can consistently translate into tangible benefits for our customers. Fifth-generation chipsets seem promising as another step towards a more efficient, cost-effective and environmentally sustainable network, which, combined with submarine networks, truly connects the whole world.”

Sam Bucci, senior vice-president and general manager of Nokia’s optical networks division, added: “We are delighted to showcase and field-proof the breakthroughs of our new-generation chipset and its improved probabilistic algorithms (PCS 2.0) over the network of OINIS. These tests validate our strategy to optimise around the best trade-off between spectral efficiency, reach, power consumption and overall cost, which today means making 400G ultra long haul and 600G regional a reality.”