AARNet (Australia’s Academic and Research Network) announced the successful trial of 400 Gbps transmission on the Indigo subsea cable system,in collaboration with Cisco, on the. The 400Gbps transmission trial was deployed over a distance of 18,400 kilometres from Sydney to Singapore via Perth in a loop configuration, boasted it as the longest and record-breaking distance for 400Gbps tranmission. 

The trial demonstrated the scalability of the AARNet network to support exponential growth in cloud and AI services traffic for research and education.

Tests were performed with the Cisco NCS 1014 with the 2.4 Terabit per second (Tbps) WDM line card enabled by Acacia’s Coherent Interconnect Module 8 (CIM 8), and the NCS 2000 Flex Spectrum Single Module ROADM platforms. The products are available today and actively deployed in multiple networks worldwide.

The key wavelength transmissions achieved on the Indigo subsea cable were:

  • Record breaking 400Gbps distance of 18,400Km: 4,600km on Indigo Central (Sydney to Perth) plus 4,600km on Indigo West (Perth to Singapore) looped
  • 800Gbps over 4,600Km on Indigo Central
  • 600Gbps over 9,200Km on Indigo Central looped

AARNet also validated this solution over its long-haul terrestrial network (a mix of overhead and buried optical fibre), achieving data rates between 600Gbps and 1.1Tbps demonstrating the flexibility and multi-haul capabilities of the Cisco solution.

Earlier in February 2024, there was a real-time field 800Gbps trial with Cisco's NCS 1014 platformon deployed on the Amitié transatlantic submarine cable, which runs 6,234 kilometers from Boston, Massachusetts to Bordeaux, France.  It achieved a spectrum efficiency of 5.33bit/s/Hz using 150GHz channel spacing. The trial also demonstrated 600Gbps transmission over 12,469 kilometers for a trans-Atlantic loopback configuration. 

In 2018, Acacia (now Cisco) achieved a spectral efficiency of 6.41 b/s/Hz on the 6,644 km Marea transatlantic cable in 2018, utilizing Acacia’s patented Fractional QAM modulation and 400G coherent optic transmission technology. 

Infinera achieved a spectral efficiency of 6.21 b/s/Hz or a capacity per fiber pair of 26.2Tbps on the Marea transatlantic cable, prior to Acacia's trial.