China’s digital frontier just hit a new high-speed milestone with the launch of the world’s first ultra-high-speed next-generation Internet backbone, boasting a bandwidth of a whopping 1.2T (1,200G bits per second). The network, a brainchild of collaboration among Tsinghua University, China Mobile, Huawei, and CERNET.com Corporation, has been on trial since July 31 and is now fully operational, linking Beijing, Wuhan, and Guangzhou over a 3,000-kilometer stretch.
This technological marvel is part of the national Future Internet Technology Infrastructure (FITI) project. It’s not just a feather in China’s cap; it’s a groundbreaking achievement that puts China ahead in the global internet race, surpassing even industry forecasts. The network is three times faster than the closest US rival and has arrived two years earlier than expected.
At its core, the FITI backbone uses China’s homegrown tech wonders, including a next-generation Internet core router with a 1.2T ultra-high-speed IPv6 interface and multi-path aggregation technology. Its software and hardware are entirely domestically produced, marking a significant step in China’s journey towards technological self-reliance.
The FITI network’s impressive performance can be summarized in one staggering fact: it can transfer data equivalent to 150 high-definition films in just a second. This isn’t just about speed; it’s about efficiency and capacity. As Xu Mingwei from Tsinghua University puts it, this new network is like replacing 10 regular data tracks with a single superfast one.
What’s more, the network isn’t just a showpiece; it’s a functional backbone pivotal for national education, research, and growing data transfer needs in sectors like connected electric vehicles and industrial 5G technology.
While the FITI project has been a decade in the making, its realization is a testament to China’s commitment to advancing its technological infrastructure. This new backbone network is a critical component of the national China Education and Research Network (CERNET), underscoring the nation’s focus on education and research.
This achievement is a clear indication of China’s escalating prowess in the global tech arena, particularly in internet technology. With all its components made domestically, including the superfast router, this project reflects China’s ambition to reduce its reliance on foreign technology, especially from the US and Japan.
China Mobile, a key player in this project, reported revenues of $103 million for the fiscal year ending December 2022, highlighting the scale and potential economic impact of such technological advancements.