BT & Huawei broadband trials hit speeds of 3Tbps

Ethernet plug with fiber optic wire

BT and Huawei have completed broadband trials that reached speeds of 3Tbps, which is the fastest real-time connection ever achieved using existing fibre links.

Although the two companies upgraded the equipment rather than use consumer routers and software, the companies said it was a great achievement, even though there aren't any plans to roll the tech out to homes or businesses quite yet.

The speeds were measured over a 359km link between BT's Adastral Park research campus in Suffolk, which is also trialling gigabit consumer broadband, and the BT Tower in London.

The equipment was provided by Huawei using a flexigrid infrastructure. The companies chose to use the Chinese manufacturer's OSN 9800/8800 and iManager U2000 platform as that allowed the capacity of the fibre connection to reach such speeds by compressing gaps between the transmission channels.

Aside from producing a faster connection, the trial also created a more efficient way of providing core fibre optic cable broadband services that could be used on slower speed networks.

Neil J. McRae, chief network architect at BT, said: "This outstanding breakthrough suggests we're well-prepared for a future where new and exciting services are delivered by faster, more data-hungry applications."

He explained the system means broadband infrastructures would extend the life of existing systems used by BT to rollout its superfast service - potentially meaning no cable upgrade work would be required to up the speeds of nationwide broadband.

Zha Jun, president of Huawei's fixed network business unit, added: "We are living in a data-led world where the need to transmit data at ever-increasing speeds is vital. This is a challenge we have worked with BT to address and the trial is part of that."

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.