China Unicom Qinghai, China Unicom Research Institute, and Huawei have jointly completed the world’s first trial commercial use of 800G OTN technology on live networks to fully upgrade all-optical networks.

This technology helps build a green ultra-broadband network. As data center services ramp up, there are urgent demands for higher bandwidth to transmit massive data. Such demands come from migrating hundreds of terabit-level enterprise service systems to cloud platforms, cloud rendering, and other use cases. 800G OTN provides bandwidth 4–8 times higher than mainstream single-wavelength 100G/200G networks, at less than half the per-bit power consumption. Using 800G OTN, China Unicom Qinghai builds a green ultra-broadband all-optical network capable of massive DC data transmission, fulfilling its goal of green and low-carbon development in the communications industry. In addition, 800G OTN uses Flexrate technology to program 400G, 600G, and 800G rates as required by growing traffic.

This technology also promotes intelligent upgrade. As all-optical network access is more and more ubiquitous, services and network O&M are increasingly complex, and intelligence is an important trend for optical network technology innovation. With this trend, China Unicom Qinghai, China Unicom Research Institute, and Huawei jointly apply the optical digital label technology to all-optical networks to make them more intelligent. This technology transmits embedded label information, without needing hardware, to detect network performance in real time. It is able to:

  1. Automatically discover and verify optical fiber connections, improving site delivery efficiency and simplifying online network O&M.
  2. Accurately identify signal optical power, improving network fault rectification and simplifying large-scale network recovery.
  3. Support visualization and control of wavelength routes, similarly to the navigation function of autonomous driving. Such visualization plans driving routes while control corrects them in real time.

As core components of the all-optical autonomous driving network, the optical digital label technology and iMaster NCE empower users with four capabilities: self-configuration for transmission provisioning, self-optimization of transmission quality, self-healing from transmission faults, and transmission monetization. These capabilities further improve network O&M efficiency.

Wang Guangquan, Chief Engineer of China Unicom Research Institute, said that the first trial commercial use of the 800G OTN + optical digital label technology in China Unicom Qinghai made two key breakthroughs and upgraded the quality of all-optical networks.

Zhu Changbo, General Manager of China Unicom Qinghai, said that better quality better serves digital economy construction in Qinghai Province and promotes the development of various projects such as digital government, smart city, smart healthcare, smart transportation, and smart salt lakes.

According to Omdia’s latest report, 100G+ Coherent Optical Equipment Ports-2Q22, Huawei 400G port ranked as No. 1 in global shipments for two quarters in 2022, and remains No.1 in the global WDM market for 14 consecutive years.