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Cape Town runs 400Gbps metro trial

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The City of Cape Town has successfully transmitted data rates of up to 400Gbps across Cape Town’s metro transport network.
In a trial with ADVA Optical Networking, using existing ADVA FSP 3000 infrastructure and the latest CloudConnect 400Gbps technology, the city connected the townships of Nyanga and Mitchells Plain.
It was one of the first demonstrations to transmit traffic at data rates of 200Gbps, 300Gbps and 400Gbps over a deployed metro network.
Using existing WDM equipment to achieve such high capacity underlines how the ADVA FSP 3000 scales to accommodate growing bandwidth demand. The trial is also notable for being one of the first field demonstrations of DP-8QAM to achieve interim capacity of 300Gbps.
“What we’ve showcased here with ADVA Optical Networking is a genuine technology landmark. Now that we know we have the power to create a 400Gbit/s backbone the possibilities are immense,” says Leon van Wyk, telecommunications manager for the City of Cape Town. “Ultra-fast connectivity will give government departments access to innovative new solutions. It will also make a huge difference for businesses and residents in this area.
“Successfully connecting the townships of Nyanga and Mitchell’s Plain with a 400Gbit/s transmission shows that we can bring high-speed broadband to areas that need it most. We know the power the Internet has to expand horizons, raise aspirations and enrich lives. Connecting people and local businesses with each other and with the world will regenerate entire communities.”
The 400Gbps trial made use of the City of Cape Town’s existing WDM infrastructure, which stretches over more than 100km and covers the whole metropolitan area. The meshed network is built on the ADVA FSP 3000, a modular optical networking platform designed for scalability and bandwidth optimisation.
To achieve the high channel capacity, the demonstrators created a two-wavelength super-channel. Data rates were then switched between 200Gbps, 300Gbps and 400Gbps to show how capacity can be automatically adjusted according to the network’s shifting traffic and transmission quality requirements.
Successfully transmitting a 300Gbps channel at just DP-8QAM is a significant milestone. This modulation format can handle lower signal-to-noise ratios for increased reliability, yet optimised fiber utilisation.
“Using existing optical infrastructure to transmit up to 400Gbps highlights the scalability of our FSP 3000 and shows our customers how much potential lies in their deployed networks,” comments G√ľnter Landers, sales director Africa at ADVA Optical Networking. “This trial demonstrates that backbone networks can be made to work even more efficiently so that future bandwidth demand can be met without the need for significant investment.
“The City of Cape Town is one of the leading municipalities in the country when it comes to providing its residents with state-of-the-art connectivity. It’s been great to work with them on a demo like this. We’ve proved that they already possess the infrastructure to do so much more. Their not-for-profit network will soon be able to give an even bigger boost to local businesses and enhance the life chances of more people.”