Alcatel-Lucent Claims New Undersea Speed Record

July 16th, 2013 by · 2 Comments

We’re still in the early stages of 100G deployment, but the next wave of technology is hitting the testing and demo stage. Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU, news, filings) today claimed a new world record for highest subsea capacity over a single fiber, putting a whopping 31 Tbps over a 7200km link.

Working out of their research facility in Villarceaux, the folks from Bell Labs put together 155 lasers, 200Gbps single carrier channels, a 50Ghz frequency grid, and 100km amplifier spacing to jump the 30Tbps hurdle. Also playing a role were new detection techniques and an array of supporting technologies in modulation, transmission, signal processing, and advanced error correcting coding.  We’re a long way from deploying such technology of course, but still.

While with 40G/100G the goalposts were very well defined (albeit bipolar), I’m getting the sense that the next level is still not quite ready to settle down.  With 200G, 400G, 1Tbps, super channels, single carrier channels, and. who knows what else on the drawing board, there doesn’t seem to be a common industry target yet beyond a generic need for ‘bigger pipes’.

At some point perhaps the economics might even swing away from what you can do over a single fiber and back to just needing more fiber. But not just yet, certainly…


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Categories: Telecom Equipment · Undersea cables

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2 Comments So Far

  • mhammett says:

    The incremental cost of more strands in terrestrial fiber is minimal. Why is the incremental cost for oceanic strands so that we don’t see more than a dozen strands in any routes?

  • Anonymous says:

    I’m confused, how can this be a new “undersea” speed record when they weren’t even using subsea cable?

    This was a hero experiment in a lab in France. Did they submerge the lab? 🙂

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