Telecom Egypt and Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU, news, filings) have put 40G undersea technology to work in the Mediterranean. The TE-NORTH Cable system's 40G upgrade is now in service, hooking up Abu Talat, Egypt to Marseille, France with extensions to Cyprus. That doubles the design capacity of the system to 20Tbps in all.
While there are various terrestrial projects looking to connect Europe and the Middle East and Asia, a large fraction of the traffic still goes through Egypt and there has been quite a bit of money spent on cables in the region lately. Hopefully the political situation there will continue to sort itself out for the better.
The upgrade was done via Alcatel-Lucent's 1620 Light Manager, following a field trial in 2010 with 64x40G capability per fiber pair powered by nextgen coherent detection and a proprietary modulation format. Next up 100G?
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