Seacom claims world 1st with 500GB/s

2011-08-01 21:12

Johannesburg - Cable operator and broadband services provider Seacom and US-based digital optical networking equipment supplier, Infinera, claimed a world first on Monday by successfully trialling five 100 Gigabit per second (100Gb/s) channels of coherent optical transmission over a distance of 1 732km.

The 500Gb/s trial was run over and looped back across Seacom's newly built 930km Dark Fibre Africa (DFA) fibre route which links the Seacom Mtunzini cable landing station in KwaZulu-Natal to the Teraco datacentre in Johannesburg.

The trial used Infinera's 500Gb/s Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs), which each integrated five 100Gb/s coherent channels onto a single chip. The PICs were used for both transmitting and receiving the five 100Gb/s signals during the trial, the first time the PICs had been used to send and provide real time coherent processing for all 500Gb/s simultaneously on a production network.

"With internet traffic growing at exponential rates, driven by video, cloud computing, and mobility, the 500G PIC technology is designed to support the required growth in network capacity, while reducing the per-bit cost, space, and power consumption," said Infinera CEO Tom Fallon.

"These attributes are in-line with Seacom's vision to providing world-class infrastructure as African traffic continues to increase at record speeds."

Infinera said it planned to deliver the 500Gb/s PICs as part of a system which integrated 5 Terabit per second (Tb/s) OTN switching and 100Gb/s coherent optical transmission in early 2012.

8 Tb/s per fibre

Enabling seamless upgrades from existing 10Gb/s networks without having to upgrade the underlying fibre infrastructure, this technology provided Seacom's land-based network in South Africa with a total capacity of over 8 Tb/s per fibre, which was an effective 10 fold increase on its current capacity.

This was in line with Seacom's plans to expand the marine portion of the cable to over 4.8 Tb/s.

Seacom CEO Brian Herlihy said: "This event is a landmark achievement and a global first. It also signals the international science research and development community that global projects such as the Square Kilometre Array are well within Africa's reach.

"The trial demonstrates Seacom's commitment to increase the pace at which African networks are deploying cutting-edge telecommunications infrastructure technology to support Africa's rise as a primary scientific and business destination."

At the consumer level, the 500Gb/s PIC technology would enable the download of 2 400 high-definition Blu-RayTM movie files in 60 seconds, or supports the streaming of 320 000 simultaneous high definition video channels over a single fibre pair.

At the network level, 100G systems based on PIC technology would have important implications for the economics of future networks.

  • Denise - 2011-08-01 21:32

    Takes piracy to a whole new level, doesn't it?

  • Oryx_ZA - 2011-08-01 21:41

    This is all i need is a telephone line.....

  • DoublySalmon - 2011-08-01 21:51

    This technology wasn't developed in South Africa? Developing and deploying technology is very different. South Africa can't get the Array, no power, no water, no political stability and no skills.

      Lydon - 2011-08-01 22:01

      Rubbish, rubbish, rubbish and rubbish. But of course you would know better than the multitudes of people involved in getting South Africa shortlisted to the top two.

      Richard Townley-Johnson - 2011-08-02 08:36

      Be more negative please..

      Oopkopdenker - 2011-08-02 11:29

      You're not maybe overseas or in bed with the Aussie bid?

  • Robin7 - 2011-08-01 22:19

    Excellent!!! Now if Telkom could just upgrade me from a 4 Mbps line (actually 1.6 Mbps due to line attenuation problems) to a 10 Mbps I'd be happy. There may be hope of getting a 20 Mpbs line in the next 10 errr 50 years. Hope nobody thinks this means we are going to benefit from this... No wonder this article is listed under the science and technology thread. More like Science fiction.....

      Hochang - 2011-08-02 08:26

      Come back to earth, please stop day dreaming, Telkom will do in next 30 years.

      The_Lil_Wizard - 2011-08-02 10:04

      I'm currently working in the Czech Republic (The 3rd World Country of Europe) where I am using a 100Mbps line, coming back to SA is going to be tough! When I told them the best we had was 4Mbps they burst into laughter!

  • lance.trent.kilkenny - 2011-08-01 22:30

    totally agree. for us here in s.a, this is science fiction. be nice if my great grandchildren can experience a 20meg line, without having to leave s.a, that is.

  • Marius - 2011-08-01 22:57

    Lets hope nobody steals the cable...

      munchkin.ross - 2011-08-02 08:34

      It's not copper, and it's under water...

  • munchkin.ross - 2011-08-02 08:33

    Less lag for African Gamers!!!

      Mark - 2011-08-02 11:29

      I can't wait to actually experience the difference. Will be able to kick nice butt in Pangya.

  • Nikki - 2011-08-02 11:21

    Comparatively speaking, South Africa is a much larger economy with a much bigger population (and more internet users) as well as GDP than here in the UAE/Dubai where I live. Yet here the MINIMUM you can get is an uncapped 8 Mbps(true speed) line. The norm are lines between 16 to 24 Mbps and they then bundle this together with a landline telephone (FREE calls to ANY Dubai number ANYTIME!) &/or Satellite TV (all the DSTV channels and then some) for the equivalent of about R600 for the 16Mbps line + landline + Satellite TV. Ha-ha-ha! The providers (and consumers) in SA need to catch a wake-up! What the hell does it help they brag here about their so called "achievement" yet the reality is the SA consumer on the ground is still (& for at least the next 5 years) stuck in the stone age...

      Nikki - 2011-08-02 11:22

      Don't believe me? Check out:

  • Hugo Van Niekerk - 2013-03-22 15:16

    I need to see this to believe it? To be honest, it is not possible yet, maybe in the next 3 years. Telkom isn't even half way with their fiber upgrades yet? I rest my case.

  • Van Niekerk Sbsza - 2013-03-22 15:21

    This is not possible, maybe in the next 5 years.

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