Windstream, Infinera transmit 800G over long-haul network

Windstream wants to see 400G, and eventually 800G, because these technologies increase the density for a pair of fibers. (Getty Images)

Windstream worked with Infinera to trial 800 gigabits per second (800G) over 730 kilometers in a live production network between San Diego and Phoenix.

The single-wavelength transmission occurred across Windstream’s long-haul network. Windstream and Infinera also looped back the signal to achieve a 700G transmission over 1,460 kilometers.

The trial was performed using Infinera’s fifth-generation coherent optical technology - Infinite Capacity Engine (ICE6).

The parties say the results of the trial prove that ultra-high-speed optical transmissions, such as 700G and 800G, can be deployed in real-world network applications over significant distances.

Windstream says innovations in faster optical transport will enable network operators to realize increased efficiency in cost per bit and power per bit, as well as increased capacity per fiber.

Buddy Bayer, chief network officer at Windstream, is speaking on a free FierceWireless virtual panel today, discussing innovations in optical transport. Bayer said the reason Windstream wants to see 400G, and eventually 800G, is because these technologies increase the density for a pair of fibers, which creates a cost savings. “Packing more bandwidth in a pair of fibers is more efficient, and cost decreases,” said Bayer. “As a service provider, I need a community to start to leverage it. We’re seeing data centers starting it, and then we’re seeing transport from date center to data center. It’s a progression.”

He said 400G will really take off when “the router world” starts to pick it up. “It’s still cheaper to turn up four 100G clients than doing one 400G client,” said Bayer. “When the routers move to 400G, it will cause things to take off. We’ll start to see 400 gig clients cheaper than doing four 100 gig clients. We haven’t crossed that threshold yet. We’re probably talking about a window of less than 18 months.”

The 800G trial follows on the heels of a 400G trial, which Windstream and Infinera conducted in April.

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The 700G and 800G transmission performance in the latest Windstream/Infinera trial was enabled by advances in Nyquist subcarriers, a technology developed by Infinera’s Optical Innovation Center. Nyquist subcarrier-based solutions map the traffic into tightly packed, lower-baud-rate digital subcarriers within a single optical carrier.