Alcatel-Lucent Extends Reach of Unrepeatered Cable Systems

Alcatel-Lucent has achieved a technological record for subsea communications by extending the reach of unrepeatered cable systems at 100 gigabits-per-second to more than 610 kilometers using the same fiber for both signal and amplifier transmission.

By freeing up individual fibers normally combined in a cable system, the breakthrough – enabled by engineers from Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks – will lead to significant improvements to cable system efficiency, creating benefits for operators in terms of total cost of network ownership. Mainly driven by connectivity needs, unrepeatered undersea cable projects consist in the construction of cable systems for distances currently up to 500km without using repeaters to amplify the signal. Built to offer additional capacity and/or complement terrestrial networks to gain resiliency, they can offer a design capacity of 25 Tbit/s depending on the system configuration, Alcatel-Lucent explained.

When offered commercially, this technology could extend the reach of current unrepeatered systems without affecting the signal transmission (low-loss) and offers an optimized trade-off.

The flexible new technology will enable deployment in multiple configurations that could further extend reach over unrepeatered distances, while ensuring ultra low-loss signal attenuation.

Olivier Gautheron, Chief Technology Officer of Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks said: “Operators’ infrastructures continue to be challenged by the demands of traffic arising from  broadband services and content delivery. ASN’s breakthrough further demonstrates the application of our own innovation to extend the reach of unrepeatered submarine cable systems in order to enhance their performance to help operators get the most out of their networks and build new revenue streams.”