Ciena to assist submarine cable operators to address bandwidth demand

Ciena’s 6500 Packet-Optical PlatformTelecom equipment company Ciena said its new capabilities will allow submarine cable operators to address bandwidth demand.

Ciena’s GeoMesh Extreme submarine solution, which now supports L-Band capabilities, can operate on TE SubCom’s L-Band wet plant system, nearly doubling the information-carrying capacity of a submarine cable.

The partnership between Ciena and TE SubCom will assist submarine operators to leverage the L-Band of optical fiber cables to approximately double the total capacity of each fiber pair for significantly improved economies of scale.

“Leveraging L-Band, over and above the traditional C-Band, changes the economics of submarine network connectivity by providing unprecedented improvements in capacity, reliability, and simplicity,” said Steve Alexander, chief technology officer of Ciena.

Submarine optical fiber has a range of available spectrum than is presently used today. Traditional submarine cables use the C-Band (~ 1530nm to 1565nm) spectrum.

TE SubCom’s C+L technology effectively doubles the available bandwidth and capacity per fiber pair over a traditional C-Band-only designed system. This capacity results in an low cost per transported bit – offering additional value to cable operators.

Furthermore, C+L’s efficient use of fiber bandwidth and the subsequent limited number of fiber pairs required for transmission capacity, enable the cable itself to remain a compact and cost-effective design.

Ciena’s GeoMesh Extreme solution now opens up the L-Band (~ 1656nm to 1625nm) in the same optical fiber, doubling the amount of information operators can support on a single submarine cable.

The telecom infrastructure maker said submarine cable operators can potentially secure twice the amount of potential revenue over a single cable, versus deploying two traditional cables, and yield better economies of scale for an improved return on submerged network assets.

Ciena’s C-Band SLTE uses the same technology that can be ported to the new L-Band SLTE to ensure more performance. Ciena has already deployed in the L-Band over terrestrial networks for many years and will leverage its experience to ensure a seamless migration into the L-Band in submarine networks.

TE SubCom in 2017 demonstrated a transmission record of 70.4 Tb/s capacity over 7,600 km — utilizing SubCom’s C+L technology, doubling the available transmission bandwidth of the repeater by a factor of two in supported capacity per fiber pair when compared to the same number of fiber pairs in traditional C-Band technology.

Submarine cable operators will benefit from Ciena’s Blue Planet MCP solution that allows for managing the Ciena C/L-Band SLTE and TE SubCom C/L-Band wet plant from a single, unified management platform for a seamless, end-to-end, best-in-breed Open Cable.

“Ciena’s and TE SubCom’s move towards L-Band provides access to greater capacity and economies of scale, which means greater return on investment,” said Neal Bergano, chief technology officer of TE SubCom.