40G Era Comes into Submarine Cable Systems

SubCom (formerly Tyco Telecom) announced on 14 January 2011 that it has been contracted to provide the first 40G upgrade in a trans-Pacific submarine cable system more than 9,500km in length. The use of SubCom’s next-generation G4 SLTE enables the increase of cross sectional capacity by 100% to 1.92Tbps per fiber pair, a new record for trans-Pacific distance.

“This upgrade marks a significant milestone for both SubCom and its industry, as a long-haul upgrade from 10G to 40G is unprecedented, yet critical to the future viability of existing subsea systems,” said David Coughlan, CEO of SubCom. And SubCom remains committed to assisting its customers in the optimization of existing system investments by migrating capacity from 10G to 40G to 100G data rates and beyond.

SubCom also announced earlier on March 25, 2009 the successful demonstration of 40Gbps transmission over ultra-long haul distances on TGN-Pacific submarine cable system.

Ciena announced on 1 February 2011 that the South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe 4 (SEA-ME-WE 4, or SMW 4) co-owners have selected Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) and Ciena® Corporation (NASDAQ: CIEN) for their network expansion project. Alcatel-Lucent was selected for an upgrade to 40G (Gigabit per second) transmission of all the submarine segments. Ciena was selected to supply optical switching equipment for all 16 cable landing sites as well as for 100G transport for an upgrade of the terrestrial link connecting Alexandria to Suez in Egypt. The deployment will commence in the first quarter of 2011, and will provide substantial capacity increase to the existing cable system (ultimate capacity of 2.4 Terabit per second per fiber pair), which supports the delivery of high-speed internet and broadband services along the approximately 20,000 km route connecting Europe to the Middle East and South East Asia.

Ciena® Corporation also annouced earlier on 17 January 2011 that Reliance Globalcom have selected Ciena for 40G ultra long haul submarine networkis.  Reliance Globalcom is deploying its market-leading coherent 40G optical networking solution on a cable route that connects the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy and Egypt. Spanning more than 6,400 kilometers, the upgraded cable route will add 2.4 Terabits per second (Tbps) of capacity on a crucial submarine route from Europe to the Middle East that helps transport traffic between the Atlantic crossing and Asia portions of Reliance Globalcom’s global submarine network.

With the application of 40G over submarine cable systems, the upgrades will bring significant capacity expansion as well as capacity price down.    

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