GFC Upgrades Submarine Cable Network with Ciena’s GeoMesh Optical Bypass

GFC Upgrades Submarine Cable Network with Ciena's GeoMesh Optical Bypass

Ciena® Corporation, the network specialist, announced that Global Caribbean Fiber (GCF), the main provider of network services across the Eastern Caribbean, has selected Ciena to upgrade its Antilles Crossing submarine network that connects St. Croix, St. Lucia and Barbados.

With Ciena’s 6500 Packet-Optical Platform powered by WaveLogic coherent optical processors and GeoMesh optical bypass, GCF is upgrading its submarine network to 40G coherent technology to satisfy customer demands for high-bandwidth services from surging Internet traffic and applications including video, cloud computing and business continuity/disaster recovery.

Key Facts:

– GCF was created in 2007, jointly owned by Group Loret (60 percent) and Leucadia (40 percent). GCF is also the parent company of the Global Caribbean Network (GCN), Middle Caribbean Network (MCN), Southern Caribbean Fiber (SCF), and Antilles Crossing projects. All of the aforementioned GCF systems are grouped under the GCF network.

– The GCF network is a fiber optic submarine cable system of about 3,000 km providing 1.2 Tb/s capacity across 14 countries in the Eastern Caribbean.

– GCF selected Ciena’s 6500 Packet-Optical Platform equipped with WaveLogic coherent optical processors and Submarine Line Terminating Equipment (SLTE) for deployment on its 1,100 km Antilles Crossing submarine network that connects the Eastern Caribbean islands of St. Croix, St. Lucia, and Barbados.

– The newly upgraded network scheduled to be operational in May 2013, will allow GCF to increase submarine bandwidth by four times using existing submarine cables, and enable the launch of 10 Gigabit per second (Gb/s) Ethernet services for wholesale services, other operators and local Internet service providers (ISPs). This upgrade will also use Ciena’s agile GeoMesh optical bypass, which will provide GCF with flexibility to add or drop select wavelengths at intermediate sites. In addition to reducing latency on the route, this gives GCF the ability to quickly react to changing traffic demands and increase network availability.

– The network upgrade will be managed by Ciena’s OneControl Unified Management System, providing GCF with multi-layer service management to enable streamlined service activation, robust fault management and comprehensive performance monitoring, resulting in efficient use of critical network assets and bandwidth optimization.

– Ciena is also providing GCF with a wide range of professional services for this deployment via Ciena Specialist Services for installation, integration, testing and support.

Valéry Bijou, Chief Operations Officer, Global Caribbean Fiber said: “As a leading provider of telecommunications infrastructure for the Eastern Caribbean, it is imperative that our customers have access to a scalable, reliable network with low latency that can compete anywhere in the world. Ciena’s coherent optical technology is just what we needed to ensure end-to-end network performance across the islands of St. Croix, St. Lucia and Barbados. By leveraging Ciena’s GeoMesh coherent transport and agile optical bypass technology, we can ensure our customers have the bandwidth needed to innovate and succeed in their respective markets.” 

“By leveraging Ciena’s GeoMesh capabilities, GCF can re-use its fiber plant and carry four times the amount of traffic capacity than it had previously, leveraging existing assets and avoiding expensive alternatives. Along with the 6500 Packet-Optical Platform, to meet surging bandwidth demands, Ciena’s intelligent software will provide GCF’s customers high-speed protected, reliable and flexible on-demand service delivery”, added  Ed McCormack, Vice President and General Manager, Submarine Systems, Ciena.

Press Release, February 15, 2013; Image: