Apollo South System Field Test Successful

Apollo and Alcatel-Lucent have successfully completed a field trial on the existing Apollo South system, which connects France to the United States, achieving the transmission of 7.2 terabits-per-second (Tbit/s) of data per fiber pair, based on 100 gigabit-per-second (Gbit/s) technology.


Made possible by Alcatel-Lucent’s advanced optical coherent technology, the field trial demonstrated a nine fold increase in the system’s original design capability, setting a new capacity record for an upgrade project. The trial follows the recent announcement of the upgrade completion on both Apollo North, which connects the UK to the US, and Apollo South, with both systems now carrying multiple 100Gbit/s of in-service traffic.

For the demonstration, the Alcatel-Lucent 1620 Light Manager submarine line terminal made use of innovative detection techniques and advanced error correcting coding in combination with proprietary modulation and pulse shaping schemes to counteract the signal distortions and noise that impact high speed, long-distance transmission performance.

The system was tested fully loaded with 80 wavelengths modulated at 100Gbit/s across the fully spectrum, utilizing a flexible modulation scheme to match transmission format to line performance for vital additional capacity, error-free across the bandwidth.

Richard Elliot, Managing Director of Apollo, said: “Fully loading all bands on Apollo South was a substantial undertaking which Alcatel-Lucent completed with a minimum of fuss and no customer disruption. Proving the current maximum capacity of 7.2Tbit/s per fibre pair has clarified what we expected to be the case, that Apollo could carry around four times the current entire Atlantic traffic in use today on all cables. This cable system which has proved to be the most reliable Atlantic system ever, by a long way, has massive expansion capability leaving it well placed for the foreseeable future.”

Philippe Dumont, President of Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks, said: “This field trial showcased the adaptability of Alcatel-Lucent’s technology to offer carriers a smart evolution path for tuning capacity and performance throughout the life of a system. In combination with high resiliency to potential degradation at higher speeds, our technology offers a cost-effective and flexible networking model to cope with end-users’ service demands.”

This demonstration further confirms Alcatel-Lucent’s innovation capabilities which build on several transmission records, including a recent lab experiment where researchers from Bell Labs successfully achieved 31Tbit/s tranmission over 7200km – a capacity exceeding that of today’s most advanced commercial undersea cables today by a factor of three.

Press Release, July 30, 2014


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