NBN Co and US network vendor Coriant today announced the successful trial of a one terabit-per-second "super-channel" transmission trial over a 1,066km fibre-optic ring in south Queensland. The trial Coriant's Flexi-Grid technology on NBNCo's Transit Network.

The field trial was conducted on NBN Co's network using commercially available hardware and pre-commercial software, over the existing fibre that is currently being integrated into NBN Co's Transit Network.

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NBN Co's Transit network is built using established optical fibre made available by third party carriers on long term leases and Dense Wave Division Multiplexing (DWDM) equipment that provides connectivity from the access networks, including fibre and wireless, through to points of interconnect with the NBN Co's wholesale customers.

The trial demonstrated a Tbps super-channel transmission in a 369GHz grid over 1,066 kilometres.

It showed a greater than 35 per cent improvement in spectral efficiency which significantly increases the capacity of the system.

The trial also demonstrated the flexible allocation of the super-channel by placing it in three separate locations within the c-band which maximises use of existing fibre resources.

This capability, in conjunction with the improvements in spectral efficiency, provides a maximum theoretical transmission capacity of 13 Tbps on existing hardware and fibre over a distance greater than 1,000km.

The analysis of the results from the trial in conjunction with equipment test results showed that a calculated distance of 1,600 kilometres could be achieved.

NBN Co's Chief Technology Officer, Gary McLaren, said he was pleased with the results of the trial.

"It highlights how established backbone infrastructure can be upgraded with sophisticated optical and electronic equipment to provide extra capacity for the future needs of the National Broadband Network," he said.

"This proof point highlights that the existing transit network is robust and capable, as we rollout a mixture of Fibre-to-the- node technologies (FTTx) being designed to provide access to voice and broadband services faster, cheaper and more efficiently to Australian homes and businesses no matter their location across the country.

"As high-bandwidth applications and the growth of internet usage drive increased demand for network capacity, the ease of upgrading to higher transmission rates in our Transit Network will enable us to continue to deliver a reliable and high-quality broadband experience for our customers."

Using commercial-grade Coriant hiT 7300 DWDM system hardware, including Flexi-grid technology, the trial demonstrated NBN Co's ability to efficiently scale its network as end-user traffic demands in Australia increase.

According to a company statement, Flexi-Grid technology is based on an adaptive channel grid with wavelengths dynamically selected based on the data rate. By increasing channel density, Flexi-Grid technology enables NBN Co to maximise the use of the existing fibre optic infrastructure, while maintaining network flexibility, resiliency and performance.

Coriant is a strategic supplier of Optical Transmission Equipment and management systems to NBN Co.

The company also provides specialised optical networking support services including design, logistics, installation, commissioning, local pre-deployment system testing and maintenance.