SMW5 consortium and Ciena completed a significant upgrade to the SEA-ME-WE 5 submarine cable system in August 2019, by deploying Ciena’s GeoMesh Extreme which features the 6500 Packet-Optical platform. The upgrade increased SMW5 cable system design capacity to 38Tbps, and reduced 100G unit cost by 70%. After the upgrade, SMW5 cable system offers hybrid 100G/200G waves, and is able to increase the capacity per wave up to 300Gbps

The SEA-ME-WE 5 (SMW5) cable system is 20,000 km and spans across 17 countries, offering 100Gbps DWDM technology and capacity of 24Tbps on three fibre pairs. Alcatel-Lucent and NEC were the originally SMW5 cable system suppliers, Alcatel-Lucent supplied the segments from Sri Lanka to France, while NEC supplied the Singapore to Sri Lanka segment. The SMW5 cable system was ready for service on December 13, 2016.

Upgrading with Ciena’s GeoMesh Extreme which features the 6500 Packet-Optical platform, SEA-ME-WE 5 is able to increase the value of the cable system and accelerate growth, to meet unpredictable traffic demands and provide new levels of capacity and flexibility for service providers.

Additionally, Ciena’s WaveLogic Ai platform will help lower the cost per 100Gbps significantly by increasing the capacity per wave up to 300Gbps

Ciena’s GeoMesh Extreme submarine network solution which supports an open architecture, will enable SEA-ME-WE 5’s customers to rapidly scale capacity, protect traffic from faults, and lower total cost of network ownership.

According to SMW5 consortium, after the upgrade with Ciena's coherent 200G DWDM technology, there is about 50% improvement in the SMW5 cable system design capacity, reaching 38Tbps, and 70% reduce of 100G unit cost.

SMW5 cable map
SMW5 cable map,  Source: SMW5 Consortium