Ciena adds L-band to GeoMesh to double subsea cable capacity

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Ciena announced that it is introducing new L-Band capabilities to its GeoMesh Extreme submarine solution that can operate on TE SubCom’s L-Band wet plant system, nearly doubling the capacity of a submarine cable.

Ciena says the addition of L-Band will enable submarine cable operators to better address surging bandwidth demand driven by video-centric streaming, virtual reality, the Internet of Things, and future applications such as 5G.

Submarine optical fiber uses a wider range of available spectrum today. Traditional submarine cables exploit the C-Band (~ 1530nm to 1565nm). Adding the L-Band (~ 1656nm to 1625nm) in the same optical fiber effectively doubles the amount of information operators can support on a single submarine cable.

That boost in capacity results not only in more potential revenue on the same fiber, but also an extremely low cost per transported bit and better economies of scale for an improved return on submerged network assets. Also, TE SubCom’s C+L’s efficient use of fiber bandwidth and the subsequent limited number of fiber pairs required for transmission capacity enable the cable itself to remain a compact and cost-effective design.

“Leveraging L-band, over and above the traditional C-band, changes the economics of submarine network connectivity by providing unprecedented improvements in capacity, reliability, and simplicity,” said Ciena chief technology officer Steve Alexander.

The solution ports the same technology used by Ciena’s C-Band SLTE is to the new L-Band SLTE. Ciena has already deployed in the L-Band over terrestrial networks for many years, and says it will leverage this extensive knowledge, expertise, and field experience to ensure a seamless migration into the L-Band in submarine networks.

TE SubCom announced earlier in 2017 that it has demonstrated a new transmission record of 70.4 Tbps over 7,600 km. That was made possible utilizing C+L technology.

Ciena adds that submarine cable operators will also benefit from its Blue Planet MCP solution that allows for managing the Ciena C/L-Band SLTE and TE SubCom C/L-band wet plant from a single, unified management platform.

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