Tata Stops Short of 100G Undersea

Tata Communications Ltd. announced Wednesday that it's installed coherent 40Gbit/s links on an undersea route between New York and London.

The buildout uses the Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) 6500 Packet-Optical Platform, which is 100Gbit/s capable -- but Tata chose to go with just 40Gbit/s for now.

Deploying 40Gbit/s gave Tata more capacity and a lower cost per gigabit-per-second, says Matthew Ma, Tata's vice president of transport network engineering.

Why this matters
There have been a couple of recent announcements about 100Gbit/s undersea trials, using Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and Infinera Corp. (Nasdaq: INFN) gear, but Tata's deployment is a reminder that the technology is still new. Specifically, Tata decided no available 100Gbit/s technology is ready for 7,000-kilometer distances yet.

Coming elements such as soft-decision forward error correction (FEC) would help, Ma says.

Ma expects to start his serious 100Gbit/s shopping in about six months, when more equipment is available. He admits Ciena, while not a shoo-in, has an obvious advantage. "The common equipment is deployed. It would make the 100Gbit/s deployment relatively easy, almost -- not quite, but almost -- plug-and-play."

For more
News on 100Gbit/s projects that are underwater in a good way.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 4:48:48 PM
re: Tata Stops Short of 100G Undersea

You might argue I'm selling Ciena's 40G short with the way I wrote this up.  It's just that upon talking to Tata, I found the main question I had was, "Why not wait just a little longer for 40G?"... the answer being that they wanted something they could deploy right away for this undersea span.

Decent win for Ciena, though. 40G over 7000km doesn't sound like an easy task, and as the story says, it gives them an advantage for the eventual 100G upgrade.

opticaljunkie 12/5/2012 | 4:48:41 PM
re: Tata Stops Short of 100G Undersea

100G with the same sensitivity won't be available for quite a while, that's the real story. 

laytonhasnochance 12/5/2012 | 4:48:37 PM
re: Tata Stops Short of 100G Undersea

And who will provide that? I bet I know who you are going to say.

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