SubOptic 2010: Apollo SCS, Alcatel-Lucent show off 3 Tbps undersea capabilities

Now that's fast. During this week's SubOptic trade show, UK-based Apollo Submarine Cable System (SCS) and Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) demonstrated the ability to transmit 3 Tbps across the Atlantic Ocean via 72 40 Gbps channels.

Conducted over a distance of 6,211 km on Apollo's North Cable system, which links the U.S. and the U.K, Apollo said it was able to quadruple the original system's design capacity. The majority of existing transoceanic cables can only transmit up to 10 Gbps. Although its service provider customers hope the migration from four 10 Gbps channel to one 40 Gbps channel would reduce connection costs, Apollo said it's still investigating the actual cost savings.

"Capacity upgrades of submarine networks using existing fiber are critical for operators as existing networks near full capacity and as terrestrial networks start supporting 40 Gbit/s. These two factors drive the need to increase the capacity of submarine networks, seamlessly handing-off traffic to keep the highest level of efficiency end-to-end," said Richard Elliott, Managing Director of Apollo in a release.

But one cost that Apollo did not have to incur was the installation of new equipment. Apollo only had to add new line cards to its 1620 Light Manager submarine line terminals to upgrade the network to 40 Gbps.

After the market imploded in the late 1990s, submarine cable systems have entered a renaissance period in recent years to accommodate ongoing growth of Internet and video traffic. In addition to Apollo's network upgrade, research firm TeleGeography said it sees up to 16 new cables may be ready to be activated.

For more:
- see the release here
- PCWorld has this article

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