In this work, the transport performance of a regional area wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) transparent optical network is studied. We present excellent performance results (Q factors for all received signals greater than 10 with small power penalties) for a ring network based on application-optimized cost-effective optical layer components and fiber. The network consists of six network nodes, interconnected with 86.5-km spans of uncompensated negative dispersion fiber, resulting in a maximum transmission distance around the ring of 519 km, and it supports 32 directly modulated channels operating at 2.5 Gb/s (80-Gb/s network capacity). The novel design of the network nodes ensures great flexibility in terms of scalability and transparency, as well as great performance. To our knowledge, the capacity-length product of this transparent network, using cost-effective directly modulated lasers (DMLs) and no dispersion compensation, is the highest ever reported.
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