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Rakuten completes 1 Tbps single wavelength end-to-end transmission trial

Japan-based mobile network operator and ICT services provider teams with comms tech company to claim 1 Tbps single wavelength transmission record for optical fibre communications

Rakuten Mobile, working with Nokia Corporation, has announced the successful completion of what it calls a pioneering trial of 1 Tbps (terabits per second) end-to-end transmission over a single wavelength on an 820km subsea and terrestrial hybrid optical line in Japan.

Rakuten Mobile provides mobile communications services in Japan, running its mobile network operator business since October 2019 and mobile virtual network operator business since October 2014.

The test, conducted on 25 January 2024, marked the first successful 1 Tbps trial over an 820km distance in the Asia Pacific region, demonstrating, said Rakuten Mobile, the capabilities required to handle ultra-high-speed data transmission over significant distances.

Nokia’s sixth-generation super-coherent Photonic Service Engine (PSE-6s) optics, the company’s latest chip for optical network applications, were used to transmit over a Nokia Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing line system providing high scalability, enhanced performance and efficient spectrum-utilisation on the Rakuten network.

By using Nokia’s latest PSE coherent technology, Rakuten Mobile believes it will be able to increase both spectrum efficiency and maximum capacity per fibre pair by 25% compared with the earlier generation of coherent optics deployed in its network. The company also believes it will be able to scale network capacity while helping to manage network power consumption by reducing power-per-bit by 50%, against its prior generation of coherent optics.

“We are delighted to achieve 1 Tbps per channel on our optical network in collaboration with our technical partner,” said Hiroshi Takeshita, deputy chief technology officer of Rakuten Mobile.

“This technical milestone enables us to optimise the utilisation of fibre capacity and enhance power efficiency, and the increased capacity empowers Rakuten Mobile to meet the demands of bandwidth-intensive mobile services and high-capacity enterprise requirements. This accomplishment is in line with Rakuten Mobile’s network growth objectives.”

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James Watt, senior vice-president and general manager of optical networks business at Nokia, added: “We are proud to have accomplished this remarkable 1 Tbps single wavelength transmission record in partnership with Rakuten Mobile.

“Our PSE-6s super-coherent optics delivers exceptional scalability, peak performance and energy efficiency, allowing Rakuten Mobile to meet its carbon neutrality objectives and increase network capacity to meet demand for high-bandwidth 5G services and enterprise needs.”

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