One of the primary undersea cables linking Europe to Asia is getting an overhaul. SEA-WE-ME-4 is expanding its capacity by moving to 40G along its entire 20,000 kilometer length. The cable went live in the early part of 2006 (or was it late 2005?), and consists of two fiber pairs whose total capacity will after the upgrade be 2.4Tbps, or 4.8Tbps total. Here's a quick snapshot of the cable's route:
Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU, news, filings) and Ciena (NASDAQ:CIEN, news, filings) have been selected to supply the equipment. Alcatel-Lucent will deploy its 1620 Light manager and upgrade its existing gear that is already in service for the 40G subsea links. For its part, Ciena will bring in its ActivFlex 5430 optical switching at all 16 landing stations plus its 100G gear for the terrestrial link across that stretch of Egypt. Assuming of course that Egypt doesn't self-combust before they get to that part.
Quite a bit of upgrading going on undersea these days, especially in the Pacific and through the waterways south of Eurasia. But there's still just the one new transatlantic foray, hmmm...
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