Etisalat and Nokia set 5G speed record

Imagine downloading the entire Game of Thrones video series in under two seconds.
The teams of Etisalat UAE and Nokia that carried out the successful trial
The teams of Etisalat UAE and Nokia that carried out the successful trial

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Etisalat and Nokia have worked together to set a capacity record during the world's first field trial of single-carrier terabit-per-second data transmission on a deployed fiber network. To put this into perspective, a terabit-per-second is enough bandwidth to download the entire Game of Thrones video series in HD in under two seconds.

With Etisalat actively investing in its core network infrastructure, the field trial shows that Etisalat's existing network is capable of supporting the higher optical wavelength bit rates that will be required to support high-bandwidth services such as 5G extreme mobile broadband, fiber-to-home and data center interconnect cloud services. Higher bit rates per wavelength provide power and space savings, improved network simplicity and ultimately, a reduced cost per bit compared to optical networks composed of lower rate channels. 

A record 50.8 terabits per second was transmitted during the successful trial using multiple wavelengths, each with a net information rate of 1.3 terabits per second, over a 93-kilometer fiber route of Etisalat's wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) network. Using a single optical carrier, the terabit wavelengths employed Nokia Bell Labs-pioneered probabilistic constellation shaping to intelligently shape the signal.

Esmaeel Alhammadi, the senior vice president of network development at Etisalat, said, "We are pleased to have partnered with Nokia Bell Labs to demonstrate that our optical network is capable of transporting a terabit per second over a single wavelength, and a total per-fiber capacity of over 50 terabits-per-second.  Increasing network capacity helps us to provide bandwidth-hungry services such as 5G extreme mobile broadband, fiber-to-the-home and DCI for enterprises.”  

On the same, Sam Bucci, the head of optical networking at Nokia spoke about how the introduction of 5G will require a network that can support dramatic increases in bandwidth in a dynamic fashion. This ground-breaking trial is a testimony to both Nokia's and Etisalat's commitment to continue to invest in coherent and optical component technologies required to meet the 5G networking challenge. 

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