OSLO, Aug. 28 -- The world's fiber networks face a capacity crunch when they reach the Shannon limit and will need to transition to advanced all-optical.

That's the view of Wei Leping, currently director of China Telecom Corp's science and technology committee and a senior MIIT advisor, who has helped design and build the world's largest optical trunk networks.

Speaking at a China optical networking event this week, Wei said a decade ago a number of experts had predicted that the Shannon limit per single fiber would be reached in 2020.

But in Wei's telling, the industry avoided a capacity crisis thanks to a slowdown in demand, with global Internet traffic growth contracting from 40% to around 24%, and network performance gains.

China ...