BT begins trial of 'revolutionary' hollow core fibre cables

Air-filled cables currently being tested in Ipswich could reduce signal delay by up to 50%

BT is trialling a new type of optical fibre which uses air to transmit information through a 'hollow' cable.

The telecommunications giant has installed a 10-kilometre-long cable at its research and engineering campus in Adastral Park, Ipswich, that has an 'air-filled centre' running its entire length.

The research into hollow-core fibre presents an opportunity to explore how the capabilities of optical fibre can be enhanced in the future, with the potential to reduce latency or signal delay caused by light travelling through glass by up to 50%, according to BT.

Standard, single-mode optical fibre cables consist of solid strands of glass that quickly carry information over long distances by channelling light from laser transmitters through the glass strands. However, the nature of glass means that the light travels marginally slower inside the fibre than it would do across the air.

The new hollow cables correct this by using only an outer ring of glass to guide the light, effectively replicating natural conditions.

This reduction in the transmission delay could prove pivotal for connections that require split-second data transfers, such as high-frequency trading, and could even lead to lower mobile network costs, according to BT.

Related Resource

Humanising customer experience through technology

How to win and maintain customer trust

Humanising customer experience using technology - whitepaper from AircallDownload now

Using hollow-core fibre could also increase the distance between street antennas and the back-end processing in exchanges, the company added.

"This new type of fibre cable could play an important role in the future of the world's communications infrastructure, heralding a step-change in capability and speed, to keep up with the demands for high-speed, low latency communications driven by 5G networks, streaming, and more," said professor Andrew Lord, BT's Head of Optical Network Research.

Featured Resources

Modern governance: The how-to guide

Equipping organisations with the right tools for business resilience

Free Download

Cloud operational excellence

Everything you need to know about optimising your cloud operations

Watch now

A buyer’s guide to board management software

Improve your board’s performance

The real world business value of Oracle autonomous data warehouse

Lead with a 417% five-year ROI

Download now

Most Popular

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode
Microsoft Windows

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode

6 Jan 2022
Sony pulls out of MWC 2022
Business operations

Sony pulls out of MWC 2022

14 Jan 2022
Dell XPS 15 (2021) review: The best just got better
Laptops

Dell XPS 15 (2021) review: The best just got better

14 Jan 2022