Nokia, Rakuten Mobile demo live 1 Terabit per channel transmission

Photo by Takashi Miyazaki

Nokia and Rakuten Mobile demonstrated the first live 1 Tbps per channel transmission over the latter’s commercial dense wavelength division multiplexer (DWDM) network, a speed increase of 500% on Rakuten Mobile’s existing network running at 200 Gbps. 

The trial took place over two days in January 2022 and connected data centres located 135 km apart in the Kanto region in Japan.

The 1 Tbps speed was achieved using coherent transmission powered by Nokia’s Photonic Service Engine (PSE) supporting 1 Tbps capacity over a 150 GHz optical spectrum. 

The trial demonstrated the ability to deliver 32 Tbps per fiber in C-band which can be expanded to 64 Tbps by adding L-band over a Nokia DWDM line system used in Rakuten Mobile’s optical network. This is vital to providing maximum capacity for the ever-increasing data demands and to support the latest generations of routers delivering 800 Gbps Ethernet.

The Open Line System field trial, over Rakuten Mobile’s existing commercial network, used Nokia’s PSE inhouse digital signal processor (DSP) — a compact, high capacity, modular optical networking platform that is optimised for data center interconnect (DCI) applications over metro, regional and long haul.

John Lancaster-Lennox, Head of Nokia in Japan, said the 1 Terabit per channel trial demonstrated the capability to dramatically increase fibre capacity and future-proof the Rakuten Mobile network infrastructure to support new high speed data center interconnection.

Rakuten Mobile is scaling up its network capacity to enable 5G connectivity, video, and new applications for its mobile subscribers and business partners.

Nokia’s 1 Tbps solution enables Rakuten Mobile to reduce its footprint, improving operational expenditure and flexibility to rollout in data centers.

“This technical milestone will allow us to maximise bits per fiber and achieve improved power efficiency,” said Tareq Amin, CEO of Rakuten Mobile. “The enhanced capacity will also support our traffic growth, deliver higher bandwidth and enable Rakuten Mobile to provide new service offerings.”