Abstract Optical data storage devices and erasable memories with storage densities in the range of terabits/cm 2, all-optical devices for communication like optical bit-rate converters, routers and image processors can become a reality with photon-echo-based frequency-selective materials. In photon-echo-based optical data storage and data processing the photon-echo-output intensity generally is about 0.1–1% of the input intensity. Many devices, such as processors would require that the photon-echo output is used as an input to a new photon-echo process and hence the amplification of photon-echo signals is necessary. In this paper we describe the development of a fibre amplifier for amplifying photon-echo data. Requirements and performance for the fibre amplifier are discussed. Some examples of our initial experiments, where photon-echoes amplified by the fibre amplifier are used to generate secondary photon-echoes, are also presented.