Sprint builds 40Gbit/s transatlantic IP fibre link

Sprint has trialled a 40Gbit/s transatlantic IP link between New York and Luleá, Sweden.

The company also claims this is the first time that an OC768, 40Gbit/s signal has been successfully transmitted over a submarine cable using one wavelength and dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) systems.

The 9000km fibre link includes a 7630km segment of the TAT-14 transatlantic submarine cable system between Sea Girt, NJ and Blabjerg, Denmark.

The trial was made possible with the support of the TAT-14 cable system consortium (a consortium of approximately 40 international telecommunications carriers) and by TeliaSonera International Carrier, which runs the TAT-14 landing station in Denmark. TeliaSonera International Carrier provided a link from the landing station to SUnet in Stockholm, the Swedish research and education network that provided the optical link to Luleá in the north of Sweden.

Kathy Walker, chief information and network officer for Sprint, said the trial: “serves as a reminder of how far technology has advanced. TAT-14 and Sprint were the first to transmit data at 10Gbit/s (OC192) speeds across the same path in 2001. By transmitting 40Gbit/s over an existing 10Gbit/s DWDM system, we've demonstrated that Sprint can increase capacity for its customers while minimising additional capital and operational costs.”

Rather than using traditional external DWDM equipment to generate the long-haul signal, the connection used Cisco's Carrier Routing System, CRS-1, and IP-over-Dense-Wavelength-Division Multiplexing (IPoDWDM) systems. The CRS-1 emits a coloured 40Gbit/s wavelength that is fed directly into existing 10Gbit/s DWDM transmission equipment, providing four times the capacity and eliminating costly external transponders.

The trial was enabled by collaboration between Cisco Systems and StrataLight Communications, which develops integrated IP and optical technologies that make it easy to add incremental capacity more simply than using traditional router and DWDM system approaches.

“This trial demonstrates the ability to multiply the transmission capacity of existing transoceanic submarine systems by four times simply by upgrading the end-points only. This can provide significant capital savings for service providers [compared with] deploying new submarine cable systems,”
said Ross Saunders, general manager for next generation transport at StrataLight.

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