Go Go, Verizon! Carrier and NEC Tests a Terabit Backbone

Verizon (s vz) just refuses to stop in its quest to support the future of our broadband connected society, with the nation’s largest ISP testing terabit backbone speeds with NEC out in the field. At terabit speeds, performing high performance computing and big data analytics in real time become possible. Verizon and NEC said Tuesday that the ISP, which recently deployed 100 GB speeds along major U.S. and European routes, is testing speeds ten times that to support bandwidth needs that are years out.
Last year the two performed a field trial transmitting high bit-rate technologies, including 100 Gb, 450 Gb and 1 Tb, co-existing on the same fiber. The test was performed on 2,212 miles of field fiber of Verizon’s network in the Dallas area. The trial measured the quality of the signal for all channels as well as the intensity of the optical signal. A key element in optical trials, when bits are transferred at the speed of light, is how far the light can travel without needing to refresh its payload of bits. Verizon and NEC concluded that the so-called “superchannels” used in this test were able to carry higher capacities at improved spectral efficiency without sacrificing distance. Basically it can cram more bits into a wavelength and it can go just as far carrying more.
We’ve written about the coming terabit age based on new gear tested last month by Infinera, but as for when terabit networks will be deployed, Verizon doesn’t say. However, considering it has tested gigabit wireless and 10 gigabit fiber to the home speeds, terabit networks wouldn’t be far behind to deliver that kind of performance at the edge For perspective Verizon conducted its first 100 Gb field trial in 2007 and deployed it in late 2010. Could terabit networks be a mere three years away?