The internet connection speed is one of those facts about modern life that we like to complain about the most. Right now, the world’s fastest internet connections are provided by Google Fiber, which sells broadband internet speeds of up to one Gigabit per second. Verizon’s FIOS also offers similar speeds. However, both these companies might soon lose to Nokia. The Finnish IT company recently announced that they are now capable of delivering internet speeds of up to one Terabit a second.
World’s Fastest Internet Connection
What Nokia is claiming is quite astonishing. An internet connection that can achieve a speed of one Terabit per second is 1,000 times faster than Google Fiber, the service currently offering the fastest connections anywhere in the world.
To give you a better idea of what 1TB/sec means, imagine you are downloading the entire series of Game of Thrones. How long will it take you to download all 60 hour-long episodes using your current connection? With Nokia’s 1TB/sec connection, you will be able to download all episodes in HD in just a single second.
Probabilistic Constellation Shaping
How has Nokia achieved this incredible feat? A technique called Probabilistic Constellation Shaping, also known as PCS.
PCS is difficult to understand for people who are not electrical engineers. The researchers described PCS as a method that “uses quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) formats to achieve higher transmission capacity over a given channel to significantly improve the spectral efficiency of optical communications.”
QAM is basically the way digital signals are encoded so a modem can receive them. The encoded signal modules are usually plotted on a scatter diagram and are called constellation points. Various internet speeds are achieved based on how constellation points are used. PCS changes the probability of how a system can use these constellation points.
Conventionally, modulation systems use all constellation points of the same frequency. But the PCS technique uses constellation points of low amplitude (a way to measure communication signals) more than constellation points with higher amplitudes. The result is signals that are far more irrepressible to impairments like noise, which can slow down internet connections.
This ingenious technique was researched jointly by the Nokia Bell Labs, Deutsche Telekom T-Labs, and the Technical University of Munich.
When Will it be Available?
Nokia has already conducted tests and achieved the intended speed. Initial testing was conducted in the German cities of Stuttgart and Darmstadt. Testing between Berlin and Stuttgart achieved 0.8TB/second speed.
Nokia has yet to demonstrate PCS technology. The company has plans to unveil these super fast internet connections sometime this month.
It’s too early to tell if PCS speeds will be available to the general public, or limited to large corporations and institutions.
Watch this video to understand internet speeds better: