Last December, scientists from Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communication Technology (NICT) carried out a study to test the maximum speed of internet transmission through optical fiber. As a result, it was possible to achieve a record rate of 1 Petabit per second using only a standard 0.125 mm fiber.
The study counted on the participation of Nokia Bell Labs and Prysmian, an Italian cable manufacturer, to carry it out. The adopted method combined the use of modal multiplexers and the optical transmission of spectral broadband in a 23 km long fiber with traditional design. Through the apparatus, the researchers were able to demonstrate the transmission of 382 wavelength channels, modulated with 64-QAM signals.
In other words, the experiment reached a total network capacity that allows the transmission of 1 million Gigabits per second, sufficient to transmit media with 8K UHD resolution, with 7680 × 4320 pixels, to 10 million devices simultaneously.
The study was accepted and published at the 46th European Conference on Optical Communication (ECOC2020), which took place during December 2020. The promising result encouraged the researchers, who are now looking for ways to build a transmission base capable of to operate on a large scale.
Prysmian Vice President Eric Stoltz commented on the new perspective made possible by the study record. He explains that data traffic is expected to increase exponentially in this decade, mainly due to the popularization of social networks and streaming services.
In this sense, he believes that technology presented in the study may be fundamental to meet the logistical demand: “multiplexing by spatial division was recognized as the only multiplexing technology capable of meeting this capacity challenge,” he concludes.