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Breakthrough optical fibers announced at OFC
Submarine Cable NewsFeed - Technology
Wednesday, 06 April 2016 18:55


Sumitomo fiber


It is worth noting that the Optical Fiber Communications (OFC) conference took place last month.  Although covering the entire range of optical fiber communications technologies, the conference is often the venue to announce new products related to submarine fiber optic technologies.  This year was no exception as there were two important announcements of new optical fibers with submarine cable applications. 

In a post-deadline paper, Sumitomo Electric announced that it has developed a coupled multi-core optical fiber suitable for ultra-long-haul transmission.  The fiber has set new records of the low attenuation and the low spatial mode dispersion in the optical fibers for space division multiplexing (see image above). 

In addition, OFS announced a breakthrough in ocean fiber technology with the introduction of TeraWave SCUBA Optical Fiber, offering a combination of the industry’s largest effective area, excellent cabling performance in the C- and L-bands, and low attenuation. These features enable reliable coherent transmission at 100 Gb/s and beyond over trans-oceanic distances at the highest channel counts.

For more information, check out our NewsFeed entries for OFS and Sumitomo (subscription required).

Submarine cable plant video
Submarine Cable NewsFeed - Technology
Monday, 22 February 2016 09:43

Swedish cable manufacturer Hexatronic has released a promotional video that includes some nice footage of its submarine cable-making operation.  The video is on YouTube at  The part showing the submarine cable works is in the last minute-and-a-half of the six-minute video.  It is brief, but for those who are not familiar with the process, it is an interesting introduction.

History of subsea telecom
Submarine Cable NewsFeed - Technology
Thursday, 27 August 2015 16:58

The following is a link to a nice booklet on the history of subsea telecommunications and its relation to Enderby House.  It is written by Stewart Ash and is located on the Atlantic Cable website at  The article was commissioned by the Enderby Group, which was recently been formed to promote Enderby House as a center for telling the story of its history and heritage.  A review of the booklet can be viewed at  


Suppliers extend reach of unrepeatered systems
Submarine Cable NewsFeed - Technology
Sunday, 17 May 2015 15:37

Last week during the recent International Telecoms Week (ITW) conference and gathering place for telecom professionals, Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks made an announcement regarding a new record for unrepeatered transmission over a submarine fiber optic cable system. This followed an Xtera announcement a few weeks earlier, also announcing record-breaking unrepeatered transmission distances.

Both records pushed the boundary for unrepeatered transmission past the 600 kilometer mark. As is the case with so many technologies, it was only a few years ago that the existing record was only half as much.

Unrepeatered systems is an often overlooked segment of the submarine fiber optic cable market. Projects that involve a few hundred kilometers of unrepeatered cable tend to be less dramatic than those connecting continents with many thousands of kilometers of repeatered cable. It is a segment, however, that has the potential to grow quickly in the coming years.

Unrepeatered systems are, due to the distance limitations, usually are reserved for domestic projects or point-to-point international links between countries separated by small bodies of water. They are considerably less expensive than repeatered systems, however. Increasing the transmission distance for unrepeatered systems can open up many new potential projects that are currently too costly to connect using repeatered cables.

At the same time, as we have noted many times in our annual Radar Screen Report, there is a growing desire to connect isolated populations – frequently islands – to deliver reliable and affordable broadband access. Not all that long ago, connecting small or underdeveloped populations would not be considered viable in terms of return on investment. Now, with broadband access being considered an economic development necessity and a basic human right, governments and NGOs are providing funding to isolated communities that wouldn’t have dared dream about not so long ago.

As unrepeatered distances increase, more islands are coming within range of the global submarine cable network. This is good news for the populations of those islands as well as for the submarine cable industry. More accessibility to affordable solutions means more projects will get financing.

Xtera to Deliver Tutorial on Raman Optical Amplification at OFC 2015 Conference
Submarine Cable NewsFeed - Technology
Sunday, 15 March 2015 19:00

Xtera Communications, Inc. will deliver the tutorial on Raman amplification technology at Optical Fiber Communication Conference (OFC) to be held in Los Angeles (22-26 March 2015). OFC is the largest global technical conference and exhibit for optical communications and networking professionals.

The tutorial will cover basics of Raman amplification, design rules for Raman amplifiers, control and dynamics, Raman in submarine systems, practical considerations, and examples demonstrating benefits from Raman.

Wise RamanTM is Xtera’s solution for Raman optical amplification that offers optical transmission performance, capacity overhead and operational excellence with a seamless integration of Raman amplification technology into optical networks. Wise RamanTM is a field-proven, future-proof solution to extend optical reach and expand the optical spectrum in long-haul optical transmission infrastructures. The Wise RamanTM solution enables 16QAM modulation format and channel rates exceeding 100G on long distances over existing fiber plants. This is validated by numerous worldwide commercial deployments, as well as by extensive lab and field trials, some of which were on a portion of Verizon’s network in the US (400G channels were transmitted on 1,500 km of aged fiber with high attenuation in summer 2013).

Using Xtera’s commercial Nu-Wave OptimaTM optical networking platform on existing fiber infrastructures, Wise RamanTM makes possible a [Capacity x Reach] metric that exceeds, by a factor of six, what is normally achievable by today’s 100G optical transport systems that use more conventional EDFA amplifiers. Xtera’s Wise RamanTM transmits 24 Tbit/s on more than 4,500 km, while 64 Tbit/s can be transmitted on more than 1,500 km in field conditions.

Wise RamanTM achieves both reach and capacity for today’s and tomorrow’s needs by enabling 100G/200G/400G/1T transmission over long all-optical paths and with long spans between sites in field conditions. Wise RamanTM solution is not only future-proofed for 64 Tbit/s backbone applications in field conditions but also future proofs existing fiber plants for higher capacities.

The tutorial to be delivered by Dr. Wayne Pelouch at the OFC 2015 conference is entitled “Raman Amplification: an Enabling Technology for High-Capacity, Long-Haul Transmission” and will take place at 09:00 on Wednesday 25 March, 2015 in Room 403B (Paper W1C.1). Don’t miss it if you want to gain a better knowledge of the key optical amplification technology enabling efficient 100G/200G/400/1T backbone networks.

Cool Submarine Cable Videos
Submarine Cable NewsFeed - Technology
Friday, 06 March 2015 12:28

Here are a couple of cool videos that you should check out.

Installation firm VBMS put together a five-minute time-lapse video on the landing of an offshore wind farm export cable in the Netherlands.  Click the following link to see the video:

In addition, Huawei Marine has released a video showing the sea trials of it innovative second-generation repeater and branching unit.  To view the video, go to

Xtera repeater video
Submarine Cable NewsFeed - Technology
Tuesday, 17 September 2013 09:48

Excellent video from Xtera highlighting their new repeater.  Beyond there, there is some nice footage of operations on a cable ship.  You can watch the video at

BBC Radio shows how submarine fiber cables carry Internet traffic
Submarine Cable NewsFeed - Technology
Wednesday, 21 August 2013 09:45

The BBC has always done a great job with documentaries on technology (remember James Burke's series "Connections").  Now BBC Radio continues the tradition with a fascinating description of how an email travels across the world.  It does extremely well in describing the role submarine fiber optic cables play in delivering Internet traffic.  Check it out at!.


Ericsson Notes Environmental Benefits of Submarine Cables
Submarine Cable NewsFeed - Technology
Thursday, 19 August 2010 15:58

Craig Donovan, a researcher at the EMF Safety and Sustainability division of Ericsson Research, has recently completed a thesis on the environmental impact of submarine fiber-optic communication cables. The study reveals that they leave only a minor carbon footprint in relation to the data capacity of a modern system.

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Oclaro Acquires Mintera Corporation
Submarine Cable NewsFeed - Technology
Monday, 16 August 2010 17:20

Oclaro, Inc., a tier-one provider of innovative optical communications and laser solutions,  today announced it has acquired Mintera Corporation, a privately-held leader in high-performance optical transport sub-systems solutions.

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