It’s fascinating. There’s so much going on under the surface of the ocean.
And I’m not just talking about fish and plant life.
Giant cables are strung along the sea floor to allow people and businesses to send and receive messages across vast distances and harsh environments.
That probably doesn’t come as news to you. Transoceanic communications has been around a long time. And many of the subsea cables down there have been in service 10 or more years.
But installing subsea cables obviously is not easy or inexpensive. So the organizations that own these important assets want them to last as long as possible. And technological advances have extended their life span again and again.
For example, coherent-based modems and Submarine Line Terminating Equipment have enabled submerged network assets to support more and faster connections at 1Gb/s and now 200Gb/s and better rates. That’s important, considering the more than 40 percent annual growth in demand for bandwidth.
If you want to increase the capacity of a submarine optical fiber, you increase the amount of usable spread and of signal level. And/or you reduce the noise level.
You also need to account for such factors as component aging, dispersion, forward error correction overhead, nonlinear impairments, and performance margins. Coherent Submarine Line Terminating Equipment does all that to get as close to Shannon’s Limit as possible.
But now subsea optical fiber is approaching its limit.
Before it gets to that point, subsea cable operators should consider adopting statistically multiplexed packet switch technology.
That will allow them to move away from traditional time division multiplexing technology, which consumes bandwidth whether or not it’s being used. Packet switching allows for better bandwidth use because it can transmit information during any open opportunities on a link. That means physical links can carry a whole lot more traffic. And that’s good for subsea cable operators, the users of those connections, and the greater ecosystem.
Edited by Maurice Nagle