Nokia and TIM achieve 550Gb/s for data transmission over 350km in readiness for 5G

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Telecom Italia (TIM), in partnership with Nokia, has achieved a wavelength speed of 550Gb/s for data transmission over a long-distance backbone network.

The trial covered more than 350km on TIM's operational network between Rome and Florence using the new Nokia Photonic Service Engine 3 (Nokia PSE-3) and the companies say that it demonstrated a new European record for data transmission over a long-distance backbone network. The collaboration also resulted in a transmission rate of 400Gb/s over 900km between Rome and Milan, and 300Gb/s over 1,750km.

The TIM backbone is a Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM) network, based on the latest generation of Nokia's 1830 Photonic Service Switch. The network is fully automated and currently carries optical signals with a capacity of 100Gb/s over distances of up to 1,800km, and 200Gb/s up to 800km. With a coverage of more than 16,000km of fibre, the network connects to 65 national Points of Presence.

The PSE-3 coherent DSP implements a sophisticated signal processing algorithm known as Probabilistic Constellation Shaping (PCS), which maximises data transport capacity over any distance. This speed triples the bandwidth of the current network, which, with the arrival of 5G, is designed to offer efficiency and connectivity in support of the ever-increasing ultrabroadband traffic.

Elisabetta Romano, chief technology and innovation officer at TIM, said: ‘Today's result, which triples transmission speed compared to the current one, confirms that TIM's network is the most advanced infrastructure capable of offering new digital services and platforms, also with a view to developing 5G.’

Sam Bucci, head of optical networking at Nokia, said: ‘We are proud of the partnership we have built with Telecom Italia over the years, and of the opportunity to demonstrate the capability of our PCS technology on their most important transport infrastructure.’

A schematic diagram of the transmission system (NICT)

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