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2 March 2012
Cisco Systems reports that it has successfully tested its single-carrier coherent 100G DWDM technology over a distance of 3,000 km without using Raman amplification or dispersion compensation. This distance is 50% further than any non-Raman alternative product on the market today, the company claims.
The result was part of a mega test on Cisco’s CloudVerse architecture, which was carried out by the European Advanced Networking Test Center (EANTC), an independent test lab in Berlin, and online publication Light Reading.  
In the test, Cisco’s ONS 15454 platform, equipped with 100G interfaces, was used to send 70 channels each carrying 100Gbps data across 3,000km of optical fibre. Cisco says that the enhanced reach is a result of improved forward error correction (FEC) techniques.  It picked up the necessary technology with its acquisition of CoreOptics in 2010.
“By eliminating the need for Raman amplification, regeneration and dispersion compensation, carriers can add 100G services on top of existing infrastructures originally designed for 10G technology, providing better investment protection and simplifying network upgrades,” said Cisco in a statement.
It’s worth noting that Chinese vendor Huawei performed a test of a long-haul 100G system at the SCTE CableTech show in November last year, in which single-carrier 100G was transmitted over 3000km of ultra-low loss optical fibre from Corning.
Cisco’s test set up also took advantage of an ultra-low-loss fibre, rated by the unnamed fibre vendor to have a loss of no more than 0.18 dB per kilometre.
“The 3,000-kilometer distance is impressive,” wrote Carsten Rossenhövel, managing director of EANTC, in the report published on Light Reading. “Operators typically look to take advantage of their dark fibre... so while there will not be too many folks excited to lay 3,000 kilometres of expensive ultra-low-loss fibre, the test setup used serves as a benchmark.”
Running the system over installed singlemode optical fibre would reduce the distance attained, but it’s not clear by how much. “We recommend those interested in such a scenario get testing,” Rossenhövel added.
Cisco’s ONS15454 multi service transport platform is available now. The company says the 100G long-haul technology is available to order today, and will ship in the near future.
By Pauline Rigby