Toward Continuous Contribution for Future Traffic Growth of Optical Fiber Communications Networks

‒ The world’s first field deployed multi-core fiber testbed for optical communications installed in L’Aquila, Italy ‒

Ribbon cutting at completion ceremony
Ribbon cutting at completion ceremony / Mr. Gianluca Vacca, Undersecretary of Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities,*1 Toshiaki Kakii, Managing Executive Officer, Sumitomo Electric, Mr. Keiichi Katakami, Ambassador of Japan to Italy, and Professor Paola Inverardi, Rector, University of L’Aquila (from left)
Toward Continuous Contribution for Future Traffic Growth of Optical Fiber Communications Networks

Network traffic is growing by 30% to 50% every year due to the rapid spread of smartphones and the growth of data centers. To address this challenge, a great deal of research is taking place into how to boost network capacity. Space-division multiplexing (SDM) is attracting a lot of attention, which realizes multiple spatial channels within a single optical fiber. Among various types of optical fibers for SDM, multi-core optical fiber (MCF) is one of the most promising candidates for the next-generation transmission medium.

Sumitomo Electric has been at the forefront of MCF research since 2009. Recently, we collaborated with the University of L’Aquila to build the world’s first field-deployed MCF cable testbed in the city of L’Aquila, Italy. Various experiments using MCFs have been conducted in labs so far, but this testbed realize the experiments in an actual working environment, and will accelerate the practical realization of MCF communication systems.

The inauguration of the testbed was marked with a ceremony attended by local dignitaries, including the President of the Abruzzo region, the Mayor of L’Aquila, and the Rector of the University of L’Aquila. Mr. Toshiaki Kakii, Managing Executive Officer of Sumitomo Electric, said, “Sumitomo Electric is much honored to take part in the world’s first field demonstration experiments of MCFs. We expect that the evaluation of the transmission performance of the MCFs in the actual usage environment will bring us many novel findings.”

The Ambassador of Japan to Italy, H.E. Mr. Keiichi Katakami, also attended the ceremony and delivered the message expressing his hope resting on the operation of the testbed. “I am certain that the opportunity of the Italy–Japan joint demonstration test of this leading-edge technology is crucially significant for promoting future technical and economic exchange between both countries.”

Sumitomo Electric will continue to contribute to infrastructure construction for building an advanced information and communications society, through research and development of next-generation optical fiber cables.

*1 Sottosegretario del Ministero per i beni e le Attivita Culturali

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