A cornerstone of technological advancement in the last century has been the development of ever faster and higher capacity telecommunications. Being able to transmit large amounts of information, at a good rate over long distances is essential for running many of the services, business and industries that we all rely upon. The development of large national and international telecommunication networks underpins the internet and, with it, the World Wide Web. All this powers a huge range of diverse activities as security services, the entertainment industry, national health services and distribution. As more and more people are connected to this network and more and more information is transmitted between these people, the capacity of the network must increase. This can broadly be split into two categories: access – the laying of cables and construction of mobile towers, technology – the creation of improved data transmitting methods that can transmit more data, at a faster rate, further away. The former is a question of private enterprise and public policy, the latter is the domain of engineers and physicists. Professor Masataka Nakazawa, who is based at the Research Institute of Electrical Communication, Tohoku University in Japan, is a world-leading expert in optical telecommunications. Nakazawa and his team have a mission to create new methods through which data can be transmitted using optical networks, recently they have consistently broken records for speed, capacity and efficiency in their cutting-edge optical communication technologies.