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NEC and Verizon announce fiber optic field trial

By Donna Donowitz
April 5, 2011
Business IT solutions firm NEC and communications company Verizon recently announced they have completed a field trial of new fiber optic network technology.

According to the companies, the trial was performed in 2010 and involved testing a framework that enables the transmission of multiple high bit-rate technologies over a single fiber.

Verizon utilized its existing network infrastructure for the trial, upgrading approximately 2,212 miles of its network in the Dallas area to the new fiber optic cable. The new technology is designed to handle several speeds, ranging from 100 gigabits to 1 terabit, or 1000 Gb.

Glenn Wellbrock, director of optical transport network architecture and design at Verizon, said the telecommunications carrier is preparing for "a future when data rates go beyond 100G[b]." According to Wellbrock, "It's important to begin examining how these technologies perform" to be ready for new developments.

"This trial gives us a good first step toward analyzing the capabilities of future technologies," Wellbrock added.

According to the companies, trials on the new, high-speed fiber optic technology had previously only been conducted in a laboratory environment. The field trial enabled research to be conducted on transmission performance over a significant distance.

Several aspects of performance were tested, including the intensity of the optical signal and the quality of the signal for all channels. The trial found the new cables were "able to carry higher capacities, while improving spectral efficiency, without sacrificing distance," the companies said in a statement.

Jim Nakajima, senior vice president at NEC, said the business IT solutions firm "is committed to the introduction of ultra-high-speed optical dense wavelength division multiplexing systems and has an extensive history in achieving the most advanced research and development results in the optical networking area globally."

According to Nakajima, the trials held in conjunction with Verizon show that NEC has the ability to "introduce novel concepts, confirm their performance and validate our long-term strategy to service the carrier marketplace with viable high-bandwidth solutions for optical networks."

Verizon was also among the first companies to develop 100Gb fiber optic technology. In 2007, the company first conducted field trials on 100Gb. In November 2010, Verizon implemented the first commercial deployment of a 100Gb ultra-long-haul optical transmission system.


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