We demonstrate how a combination of polarisation-division multiplexing (PDM) and wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) applied to graded index 50μm multimode fibres (MMF) at 1.55μm can be used to greatly increase the available optical bandwidth. A proof of principle experiment demonstrated error-free data transmission over 3km of MMF, using two 100GHz-spaced wavelengths, each carrying two 2.5Gb/s orthogonal PDM multiplexed channels, resulting in a 10Gb/s data rate. Polarisation and wavelength demultiplexing were simultaneously achieved by use of a grating based monochromator. We also practically implemented this transmission scheme in an all-fibre experiment, replacing the monochromator by a more convenient polarisation-insensitive, 200GHz ITU grid spacing 62.5μm MMF pigtailed WDM demultiplexer. Using two polarisations each on four wavelengths (2P × 4λ), we repeatedly achieved error-free data transmission for both circularly and linearly polarisation-wavelength-division-multiplexed channels over a MMF span of 300m, featuring a 20Gb/s data rate. Overall, we have demonstrated a major increase in the MMF bandwidth-distance product up to 30GHz-km.
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