What is the maximum rate at which information can be transmitted error-free in fibre-optic communication systems? For linear channels, this was established in classic works of Nyquist and Shannon. However, despite the immense practical importance of fibre-optic communications providing for >99% of global data traffic, the channel capacity of optical links remains unknown due to the complexity introduced by fibre nonlinearity. Recently, there has been a flurry of studies examining an expected cap that nonlinearity puts on the information-carrying capacity of fibre-optic systems. Mastering the nonlinear channels requires paradigm shift from current modulation, coding and transmission techniques originally developed for linear communication systems. Here we demonstrate that using the integrability of the master model and the nonlinear Fourier transform, the lower bound on the capacity per symbol can be estimated as 10.7 bits per symbol with 500 GHz bandwidth over 2,000 km.
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Data used to generate Figs2 and 3 in this study are available in ‘Aston Research Explorer’ portal with the identiﬁer http://dx.doi.org/10.17036/73b24625-65c7-4ad5-bd35-26938c1e08e0. Additional data (including those used in the Supplementary Information) are available from the corresponding author on request.