NBN upgrading optical transit network to double capacity

Coriant is set to double the capacity of NBN's fibre-optic transit network this year up to 200Gbps per-wavelength transmission speeds using its CloudWave Optics software-programmable network solution.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) company has announced partnering with Coriant to increase the capacity of its fibre-optic transit network in response to increasing traffic and demand, lowering the cost per bit.

Coriant, an optical, IP, and software-defined networking (SDN) solutions provider based in Munich, said it would use its CloudWave Optics software-programmable network solution to provide per-wavelength transmission speeds of 100Gbps using 4 Quadrature Amplitude Moderation (QAM); 150Gbps using 8QAM; and 200Gbps using 16QAM.

"The flexible and highly compact line side interface solution will enable NBN to improve utilisation of existing fibre resources by over 50 percent and increase capacity up to 45Tbps per fiber link, while reducing capex and opex via reduced footprint, lower power consumption, and improved throughput density," Coriant explained.

NBN's transit network -- which allows NBN to connect its fibre access nodes to the 121 points of interconnect (POI) where network traffic is passed to the retailers, and sends data back to NBN's two datacentres -- stretches over 60,000 kilometres long and was originally built using Coriant's hiT 7300 Packet Optical Transport Platform.

The solution is scheduled to be deployed this year on high-traffic routes of the NBN, with NBN saying the first upgrades will take place in Sydney and Melbourne.

"The network will need to carry more and more capacity in the years ahead as new bandwidth-intensive applications arrive into the market," Grant Bowden, executive GM of Engineering at NBN, wrote in a blog post on Wednesday.

"The upgrade means that our transit network, which utilises dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) that puts data from different sources together with each signal carried at the same time on its own separate light wavelength, should be able to deliver per-wavelength transmission speeds of up to 200Gbps and beyond."

NBN is similarly looking to upgrade the technology on its hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) network to allow for faster speeds, earlier this month announcing that it had attained HFC gigabit speeds during a lab trial of Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS) 3.1.

NBN plans to conduct further DOCSIS 3.1 lab tests in August, field trials in December, and a "potential commercial launch" during 2018, in addition to speaking with vendors to conduct a trial of Full Duplex DOCSIS capable of 10Gbps symmetrical speeds once standards are finalised.

It is currently deploying DOCSIS 3.1-capable modems for its HFC network.

In comparison to frequency-division duplex (FDD) and time-division duplex (TDD), Full Duplex DOCSIS sees both downstream and upstream traffic share the same spectrum. Symmetrical multi-gigabit broadband services are made possible through DOCSIS 3.1 technology when combined with Full Duplex DOCSIS.

NBN is also looking to deploy G.fast technology on its fibre-copper hybrids including its fibre-to-the-distribution-point, fibre-to-the-node, and fibre-to-the-basement networks, following a trial of G.fast and its following iteration XG-FAST with Nokia.

NBN has also spoken of using Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) technology to upgrade its fibre-to-the-premises network, and using a combination of carrier aggregation, fibre backhaul, 64QAM, 256QAM, and 2x2 multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) to attain gigabit speeds on its fixed-wireless network.

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