Submarine Capacity Quadruples

Alcatel-Lucent is upgrading 9,600km trans-Pacific digital submarine cable system using coherent technology. The cable, owned by 5 major carriers, provides connectivity from the Japanese east coast to California.

According to TeleGeography, the amount of trans-Pacific used capacity will increase at a compound annual rate of 36 percent between now and 2018.

The upgrade will quadruple its original design capacity by use of Alcatel-Lucent’s advanced coherent technology, delivering an ultimate capacity of up to 4 Terabits per second (Tbit/s) per fiber pair which is equivalent to approximately 500,000 HDTV channels simultaneously broadcasting a live major sporting event.

Construction of the Unity Trans Pacific fiber system was first announced in February 2008 by a consortium composed of six international companies, including Bharti Airtel, Global Transit, Google, KDDI Corp., Pacnet, and SingTel with a construction cost at approximately $300 million.

The Pacific Telecommunications Council is holding their 35th consecutive annual conference this week in Hawaii (pdf), and transoceanic and satellite announcements are often made there.

The Alcatel-Lucent solution is based on the 1620 Light Manager submarine line terminal equipment using coherent technology at 40G, expandable to 100G. The upgrade solution will be managed by the Alcatel-Lucent 1350 optical management system.

In 2010 and 2011, 19 systems worth an aggregate $3.7 billion were launched, reports Telegeography, and the pace of growth will only pick up in the next few years. Throughout 2012 and 2013, 33 submarine cable systems costing a projected total of $5.5 billion will be deployed.

The first Submarine communications cables carried telegraphy traffic. The first attempt at laying a transatlantic telegraph cable was in 1858. However, it was plagued with problems from the outset, and was in operation for only a month. Subsequent attempts in 1865 and 1866 produced the first successful transatlantic cable.

With 4 Fiber Pairs and 100 waves x 100 Gbps each, a submarine cable can now deliver a combined 40 Terabits/second. The 40 Tbit/sec Emerald Express cable, connecting Europe to the US, is scheduled to be ready for service by Fall, 2013.

Journalist Andrew Blum investigates the Internet’s physical infrastructure in his new book, Tubes.

Related Dailywireless articles include; Facebook Invests in Asian Oceanic Fiber, US Ignite: 1 Gbps Nationwide Fiber Network, New Submarine Cable Map, New Submarine Cables Planned, Australia’s National Fiber Network Underway, Intercontinental Arctic Fiber, Ocean Observatory Network Lands in Oregon, Google’s Transpacific Fiber Ready, The Telephone Game, Google + SingTel = Unity Submarine Fiber, Google: Now it’s Transpacific Fiber, and Fiber Crosses the Pond, The Other Atlantis, Green Apple & Facebook Data Centers, Green Power for Columbia River Data Centers, and Google’s Architecture Described

Posted by Sam Churchill on .

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