Infinera, SEACOM Develop South Africa’s Telecommunication Network

An Africa-based telecommunications provider, SEACOM in association with the US-based supplier of digital optical networking equipment, Infinera has successfully transmitted 5X100 Gb/s coherent optical signals over a distance of 1732 km.

The first optical network of its capacity in Africa, the 500 Gb/s trial was transmitted to and from the recently built 930 km Dark Fibre Africa fiber route set up by SEACOM. It links SEACOM’s Mtunzini cable landing station located in KwaZulu-Natal to Johannesburg’s Teraco data center.

Spectators of the live demonstration included members of the nation’s research, scientific and development community. The five 100Gb/s coherent channels were integrated onto one single chip using the 500 Gb/s PIC’s (Photonic Integrated Circuits) developed by Infinera. They were used for the dual functions of transmitting and receiving of the 5X100 Gb/s signals. The trial was the first time that the Infinera PICs were used for signal transmission and coherent processing of the 500 Gb/s signals in real time. The FlexCoherent functionality provided by Infinera’s PIC was also demonstrated during the trial by switching between the BPSK and QPSK modulation.

Infinera is planning to deliver a system capable of integrating 100 Gb/s coherent optical transmission and 5Tb/s OTN switching by early 2012. The 500 Gb/s PICs will be a component of the Infinera system and will enable seamless upgrades from the current10Gb/s networks without additional upgrade of the fiber infrastructure. It will provide South Africa’s land-based network with a capacity of more than 8Tb/s per fiber. This is in sync with the plans of SEACOM to extend the cable that is over the marine portion to more than 4.8Tb/s.

The Chief Executive Officer of SEACOM, Brian Herlihy stated that the trial demonstrates the company’s commitment to support the nation’s development as a business and scientific destination through the deployment of advanced telecommunications infrastructure technology. The Chief Executive Officer of Infinera, Tom Fallon stated that the 500 Gb/s PIC technology supports the network capacity required by the growing Internet traffic while reducing the power consumption, space and the per-bit cost.

Infinera’s PIC technology is capable of supporting 4000 concurrent streaming HD video channels on a single optical channel and can download about 30 HD Blu-ray movie files in a span of just one minute.



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