Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Nortel's 40G Tested on Southern Cross Submarine Cable

Nortel's 40G optical transmission technology has been tested on the ultra-long haul Southern Cross Cable systems. The Southern Cross network provides the major link for Internet traffic from Australia, New Zealand and Fiji to the US, as well as linking Hawaii to the US mainland. Nortel said the trial paves the way for a more cost-effective means for upgrading submarine networks around the world.

The first trial was conducted over a 4,200km submarine segment between California and Hawaii. The second even more demanding trial was conducted over Southern Cross' longest route, 8000km between Auckland, New Zealand and Hawaii. On both the trials Nortel equipment was simply added to both ends of the third-party submarine cable, with Nortel able to demonstrate the ability to provide over four times the bandwidth capacity without the need to replace or upgrade the submarine cable or undersea repeaters.

For shorter networks up to 450km, Nortel is working with  MPB Communications to enable carriers to upgrade their networks to 40G speeds without the need to deploy costly optical signal amplifiers - also called repeaters - along the sea floor. Unrepeatered submarine solutions are built without undersea amplification, which effectively eliminates the cost of repeaters and electrical power. Extending the reach and capacity of unrepeatered solutions provides network operators with significant CAPEX and OPEX savings.  Using powerful amplification equipment from MPB Communications paired with Nortel's  40G Adaptive Optical Engine , service providers can now deploy these "unrepeatered" undersea links at a fraction of the cost of traditional submarine networks that use powered underwater equipment.

In instances where a submarine link is required for longer distances, Nortel's 40G solution can be used with underwater repeaters. Since 2008, Nortel's existing 40G coherent solution with Dual Polarization Quadrature Phase Shift Keying (DP QPSK) modulation has been deployed over underwater distances of 4,000km. Ultra-long distance connections of 9,000km are now possible through Nortel's recent development of a 40G Ultra Long Haul solution which employs coherent Dual Polarization Binary Phase Shift Keying (DP BPSK) technology that can more than double the distance that 40G traffic can travel.

Nortel also noted that it now has 49 wins to date for its 40G solution.

  • In 2008, Southern Cross upgraded its terrestrial optical network across the US West Coast with Nortel's 40G technology.