Terabit Fiber speeds have been shown in lab tests for a good while now, however according to an article over on Engadget; Nokia Bell Labs, Deutsche Telkom T-labs and The Technical University of Munich have successfully demonstrated 1Tbps data throughput in field tests that involve ‘real conditions’ with varying channel conditions and traffic levels.
According to the TUMs press release on this It seems the key to keeping things stable was to use a novel approach to modulation, known as Probabalistic Constellation Shaped (PCS) which modifies the probability with which constellation points – the alphabet of the transmission – are used. Essentially PCS allows for higher amplitude signals to be used less often in favour of signals with a lower amplitude since these show, on average an improved resistance to noise and other factors that can impair transmission. This allows for the transmission rate to fit the transmission channel, delivering upto a 30 % greater reach.
Now, this is all well and good, but what does it mean in terms of your internet connection? Right now, not so much, even in a few years when the technology to do this finally makes it to market you may not see a huge change to your own internet connection, since ultimately this kind of connectivity is aimed more at Tier 1 and Tier 2 ISPs (Tier 1 ISPs are large National or International providers, which directly connect to the internet’s backbone and are often considered to be part of the backbone itself. Tier 2 ISPs purchase their services from Tier 1 ISPs and tend to be regional in nature focusing on business users specifically.) These providers will most likely use 1 Terabit connections for their networking core and to provide connectivity over the internet’s backbone where needed – likely in a bonded scenario.
What this does potentially mean for residential and smaller business users however is the potential for increased network capacity further into an ISPs network, meaning eventually an ISPs internal infrastructure will be more than capable of having their entire customer base on GigE connections with minimal congestion occurring, of course Gigabit connectivity to the premises is still very much in its infancy at the moment in most of the world, so by the time Terabit Fiber hits the market ISPs may only just be starting to catch upto the need to have such high capacity core networks.
Ultimately while this is exciting stuff, it’s not necessarily exciting for the reasons most people would like.