BT claims world record 2 Tbps fibre optic success

BT claims it has broken the world record for data transmission speeds over a live optical network between London and Dublin.

Tim Skinner

May 26, 2016

2 Min Read
BT claims world record 2 Tbps fibre optic success

BT claims it has broken the world record for data transmission speeds over a live optical network between London and Dublin.

Working with Huawei, the operator says they have achieved speeds of 2 Tbps over a live optical core network link spanning more than 700km between the UK and Ireland. This, following a 2014 test using the same technology on a closed trial network.

Upping the stakes further, BT has also said it has smashed through the 5 Tbps barrier in separate trials testing the transmission capabilities of a single optical fibre running on its trial network between the BT Tower in London and its Adastral Park research facility. It claims the 5.6 Tbps speeds achieved is the equivalent of downloading 200 high definition movies in one second, to help the casual optical networking enthusiast get their head around the breakneck speeds involved.

BT says the breakthrough in technology and techniques will allow it to avoid a capacity crunch, by draining more capacity and bandwidth out of its existing core optical network; this is done by maximising spectral efficiency of each strand of glass in the fibre.

“BT scientists built the first commercial single mode optical fibre link back in 1984 and the BT Labs remain at the forefront of photonics research more than thirty years later,” said Howard Watson, CEO of BT Technology, Service and Operations. “The core network is the superhighway of the internet. It’s important that our core networks keep pace with the growth in bandwidth demands driven by take-up of high-speed fibre broadband, HD content, 4G smartphones and tablets and in the future, 5G services. So we’re investing in our core, as well as in high-speed access technology such as fibre broadband, to make sure there is no capacity crunch and deliver the best possible speeds to customers. These landmark trials show that we can easily turn up the dial to deliver the speeds needed in our core networks to stay well ahead of rising customer demand.”

In other fixed news, BT’s partner for the trials, Huawei, announced more optical goodness in the form of a collaboration with Emirati operator Etisalat. The collaboration successfully developed a new 10G passive optical network (PON) solution to provide 10Gbps broadband services. Chinese vendor Huawei says the launch of its 10Gbps service will enable users to experience and enjoy the fastest broadband speed available in the region today.

“Enabling a better connected world is a vision that both Huawei and Etisalat share for our customers,” said Poundss Peng, President of Huawei Etisalat Global Key Account. “By partnering once again with Etisalat on this 10G consumer broadband case, we have set the stage for developing intelligent management capabilities that can increase access to the modern information society.”

About the Author(s)

Tim Skinner

Tim is the features editor at, focusing on the latest activity within the telecoms and technology industries – delivering dry and irreverent yet informative news and analysis features.

Tim is also host of weekly podcast A Week In Wireless, where the editorial team from and their industry mates get together every now and then and have a giggle about what’s going on in the industry.

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