Two privately held companies bent on shaking things up in the optical market have taken their case under the Mediterranean Sea. Gulf Bridge International (news) and Xtera (news) said this morning that they've completed the first 100G repeatered subsea link. The connection delivers 100G wavelengths between Italy and Egypt, and follows through even further on GBI's earlier promises to take 100G commercial.
GBI officially launched its regionally owned and operated cable system in February, but had already implemented 100G connectivity across the Persian Gulf as of last August. In October they tapped Xtera's gear to expand the effort along their terrestrial and subsea routes to Europe, the Mediterranean, and North Africa -- at least part of which has now obviously come to pass. The bandwidth market in the Middle East is being radically transformed, with multiple cables coming online, both subsea and terrestrial.
This year and next are probably the real beginning of the 100G era, and Xtera has been elbowing its way into the fray to challenge the early technology leaders that got most of the press (Ciena and Alcatel-Lucent). Last week they saw success with Mexico's CFE Telecom for a terrestrial 100G buildout as well.