Nextgen trials 400Gbps Sydney-Canberra link

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Nextgen trials 400Gbps Sydney-Canberra link

Pushes lit capacity on single route above 1Terabit/s.

Nextgen Networks has trialled a 400Gbps link between two data centres in Sydney and Canberra to prove the future scalability of the company's intercapital network.

"We installed, commissioned, tested - and then removed - a 400 Gigabit link from Sydney to Canberra and it worked," chief technical officer Phil Martel told an event in Sydney this morning.

"We didn't put it on a test fibre, we didn't put it in a lab. We actually put it on a network that was live and carrying traffic."

The trial used an Alcatel-Lucent 1830 photonics service switch, which includes a chip capable of carrying up to 400Gbps of traffic. It is the first such technology trial for the vendor in Asia Pacific.

Martel said total lit capacity on the Sydney-Canberra route exceeded 1Tbps during the trial.

However, Martel has no immediate plans to permanently upgrade intercapital link capacities to 400Gbps.

"The test was to show that the [Nextgen intercapital] network is 400Gbps ready," he said. "We think at the moment 100Gbps is the absolute sweet spot technology.

"I think the second or third generation of 400Gbps [equipment] will be about where we'll end up to get to that configuration."

Nextgen Networks is presently involved in a refresh of its intercapital network.

The operator is replacing existing transmission electronics with components that can support up to 400Gbps capacities, though the network is presently "optimised for 100Gbps transmission".

The first phase of the refresh — which connects Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra — was completed in July this year.

Subsequent phases include the Melbourne-Adelaide intercapital route, which will be upgraded in the first months of 2014.

Equipment orders for the section between Adelaide and Perth are expected to be placed sometime in the first quarter.

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