France Telecom-Orange and Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext and NYSE: ALU) today announced the deployment of the world's first optical link offering a capacity of 400 Gigabits per second (Gbps) per wavelength in a live network. Following a successful field trial, a 400 Gbps wavelength optical link is now operational between Paris and Lyon. This link, which was deployed within France Telecom-Orange's operational environment, represents a groundbreaking milestone for long-distance terrestrial network technology.
With capacity four times higher than the maximum bandwidth currently available and using 44 wavelengths, the new optical link can transmit up to 17.6 Terabits per second (Tbps) of traffic in total.
The achievement reflects France Telecom-Orange's commitment to sustainably raising its network performance to meet the growing need for high-capacity bandwidth and additional flexibility needs for its mass market and business customers. Upgrades to network infrastructure make existing uses for business customers smoother and will encourage the emergence of new services, such as video (video on demand, telepresence), that require high bandwidth and seamless connectivity.
RENATER, the Public Interest Group that manages the telecommunications network for "Technology, Teaching and Research" institutions in France and that is a customer of Orange Business Services, will be the first to test the functionality of this technological development in a real-life situation.
Patrick Donath, Managing Director of RENATER, explains: "As part of our innovation programme, we plan to test this optical fiber link in real conditions by using it to route traffic across one of our main backbone arteries between Paris and Lyon. This link transports the bulk of France's scientific data that passes through our network. This pilot phase also aims to test the latest switching equipment supplied by major OEMs on a network running at this capacity and will enable us the anticipate the architecture of RENATER's network in the coming years. A 400 Gbps network is an important step forward for the networks and research projects of tomorrow."
Didier Duriez, Senior Vice President International and Backbone Networks Factory at France Telecom-Orange, explains: "This breakthrough will considerably increase the capacity of our fibre optic network linking the two largest economic regions in France. By deploying a 400 Gbps link, France Telecom-Orange is continuing its investment in the development of super-fast infrastructure to support the emergence of new uses, such as multimedia content, social networking and the cloud, and to guarantee transmission quality while keeping costs down."
Philippe Keryer, President of Networks & Platforms at Alcatel-Lucent said: "France Telecom-Orange's use of our commercially available 400 Gbps optical solution, based on our 400 Gbps Photonic Service Engine, supports the emergence of new high bandwidth, high performance business and residential services such as on-demand multimedia content, social networking and cloud services. This latest achievement is a demonstration of the pace of innovation by Alcatel-Lucent and France Telecom-Orange and a testament to the long standing partnership forged between these two companies."
Furthermore, this innovative, energy-saving technology will help France Telecom-Orange meet its commitment to reduce its energy consumption while also optimising operating and network maintenance costs.
France Telecom-Orange is one of the world's leading telecommunications operators with sales of 45.3 billion euros for 2011 and has 170,000 employees worldwide at 30 September 2012, including 105,000 employees in France. Present in 33 countries, the Group has a total customer base of 227 million customers at 30 September 2012, including 169 million mobile customers and 15 million broadband internet (ADSL, fibre) customers worldwide. Orange is one of the main European operators for mobile and broadband internet services and, under the brand Orange Business Services, is one of the world leaders in providing telecommunication services to multinational companies.
With its industrial project, "conquests2015", Orange is simultaneously addressing its employees, customers and shareholders, as well as the society in which the company operates, through a concrete set of action plans. These commitments are expressed through a new vision of human resources for employees; through the deployment of a network infrastructure upon which the Group will build its future growth; through the Group's ambition to offer a superior customer experience thanks in particular to improved quality of service; and through the acceleration of international development.
France Telecom (NYSE:FTE) is listed on NYSE Euronext Paris (compartment A) and on the New York Stock Exchange.
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