Spark looks to Nokia for major network capacity boost

Nokia says new chip delivers significant capacity for fibre networks

Spark has endorsed a fibre optic communication breakthrough from Nokia as a development that will help it upgrade the capacity of its fibre backbone network to meet the expected demands of 5G cellular and the growth of video services.

Nokia has announced a new fibre optic communications chipset, the Photonic Service Engine-3 (PSE-3) that it says pushes the carrying capacity of an optic fibre close to its theoretical limit, the Shannon limit.

It says the PSE -3 will increase capacity up to 65 percent over currently deployed networks and reduce power by 60 percent.

“The PSE-3 chipset is the first coherent digital signal processor to implement probabilistic constellation shaping (PCS), a modulation technique pioneered by Nokia Bell Labs,” Nokia says.

“PCS pushes optical fibre transmission capacity to very near the Shannon Limit - the maximum theoretical capacity of a communications channel, defined by Claude Shannon in 1948 while a researcher at Bell Labs.”

Spark’s general manager value management and procurement, Rajesh Singh, said the PSE-3  would allow Spark to plan towards 400G and 1Tb services supporting the significant predicted traffic demands of 5G, video, business services and IoT.

“We're very excited about the world leading capability of the Nokia PSE-3 to help us meet those demands and at the same time reducing the cost per transported bit,” he said.

Spark announced in June 2017 plans to upgrade its core infrastructure under a three-year strategic partnership with Nokia to “address capacity and embrace architectural evolution on the path to 5G, ultra-broadband and IoT,” according to Nokia. 

That deal followed Spark's launch of 200Gbps per wavelength fibre link using Nokia optical transport technology, announced in December 2016..

Nokia said the PSE-3 would be available across its packet-optical product portfolio in Q3 2018.


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