Infinera announced Tuesday that the Asia-Africa-Europe-1 (AAE-1) Consortium selected Infinera’s ICE6 coherent 800G solution to increase its submarine network capacity and provide diverse, resilient connectivity across European, Asian, African, and Middle Eastern markets. AAE-1’s submarine upgrade will more than double the current capacity, providing in excess of 100 Tbps, resulting in the largest-scale submarine upgrade in history.

The AAE-1 cable system spans 25,000 kilometers of submarine and terrestrial networks, connecting 19 countries led by a consortium of 19 leading operators. Unlike any other cable system in the world, AAE-1 terminates at two points of presence in Singapore for enhanced route diversity and is the only next-generation cable that extends farther into Asia via diverse terrestrial routes across Thailand to provide connectivity to Vietnam, Cambodia, and Hong Kong. AAE-1 terminates at carrier neutral data center in major regional hubs, including Telecom House in Hong Kong, Equinix SG3 and Global Switch in Singapore, and InterXion MRS1 in Marseille, France. This unique features enable AAE-1 to deliver one of the lowest-latency routes between Hong Kong, India, the Middle East, Africa, and Europe.

AAE-1 cable route
AAE-1 cable route and initial design


The AAE-1 cable system was ready for service in June 2017, designed with 100Gbps technology for a system capacity of more than 40 Tbps on its 5 fiber-pair trunk. The wet plant of AAE-1 cable system was supplied by SubCom for the segments from France to Thailan and NEC for the segments from Thailand to Hong Kong.

In 2020, there was an upgrade with Infinera’s Infinite Capacity Engine (ICE4) technology.

The new upgrade will deploy with Infinera’s fifth-generation ICE6 technology on the GX Series Compact Modular Platform. Upon completion, AAE-1 is able to leverage the industry-leading submarine optical network solution that features the highest level of spectral efficiency, long-codeword probabilistic constellation shaping (LC-PCS), Nyquist subcarriers, and the ability to seamlessly upgrade its line system to enable L-band transponders on some of its terrestrial network segments.

The upgrade will more than double the current capacity of AAE-1 cable system, providing in excess of 100 Tbps, resulting in the largest-scale submarine upgrade in history.

The upgrade is expected to be completed in Q4 2022.