Nokia and Orange team up on 5th generation optical trial over a live pan-European network

Orange and Nokia announced on Wednesday that they completed a successful trial for testing 5th generation photonic service engine (PSE-V) chipsets.

Last month's trial was conducted over a live pan-European network, which Orange said was the first successful trial to test the 5th generation optical technology.  Orange said the applications that could benefit from the new technology could include the support of ultra-high bitrate services on long distance networks and live sports broadcasts.

Over the course of three weeks, tests were run alongside of live, commercial traffic on the Orange International Networks Infrastructures and Services' (OINIS) pan-European backbone. The tests went from Paris’ network node to 15 points of presence (PoPs) to create 400 Gbps services across 3,400 kilometers, enabling non-stop transmission from Paris to anywhere in Europe and beyond.

In addition, Orange said bitrates of up to 600 Gbps with spectral efficiency of more than 6 Gbits/s/GHz were been implemented over paths longer than 1,000 kilometers.

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Those speeds and distances could be used to interconnect European data center hubs, as well as integrating them into next-generation submarine systems. For example, Orange said up 27 Tbps could be provisioned on a single pair of fibers between Paris and Lyon, France.

This new technology allows the tripling of the total transported capacity on long haul links and also a reduction—by 50%—of energy consumption, thanks to the performance leap offered by the Probabilistic Constellation Shaping (PCS).

“At OINIS, 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, said Jean-Luc Vuillemin, executive vice president, Orange International Networks Infrastructures and Services, in a statement. "5th 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.”

The PSE-V components also require less active equipment end-to-end, which enables enhanced reliability of the long-haul networks, and quality of service due to improved algorithms and the introduction of telemetry as well as artificial intelligence.