The Optical Networking and Communication
Conference & Exhibition

Moscone Center,
San Francisco, California, USA

Single Mode Fiber SDM Cable Commercialization: Impact to Subsea Eco-System


Mei Du, Tata Communications, USA
Valey Kamalov, Google, USA
Pascal Pecci, ASN, France


Subsea cable capacity has been growing at a dramatic rate over the past years.  The effort in meeting the demand for capacity growth has shifted from maximizing the capacity per fiber pair (FP), using premium fiber, to maximizing the capacity per cable with SDM where the number of FPs within one cable has been increased (12 FPs, 16 FPs, 20+ FPs). Since the introduction of the new paradigm- Spatial Division Multiplexing (SDM), several SDM cables have been in contracts and are being deployed. The first SDM cables will be ready for carrying commercial traffic in 2021.

Maximizing the capacity per FP faces the Shannon limit and the power constrain of the power feeding equipment (PFE).  Maximizing the capacity per cable (SDM) presents different requirements. During this workshop, experts will discuss the impact on each element (cost, flexibility, reliability, commissioning, fibre, SLTE…) of the submarine cable linked to the new SDM cable paradigm and will give their insight on the future of submarine communication.
Topics to cover: 

1) Introduction: Definition and drivers for SDM in subsea cable and SDM commercialization
2) Cost: What are the Metrics for SDM cables cost: $ per Tb ? or  $ per FP?
3) Flexibility: band switching, FP switching, cross connection between FPs, connecting cables from different suppliers 
4) Reliability: Network availability improvement with SDM based mesh networking
5) Fibers: More fibres to be produced? How much x2, x3? Different type of fibres? What is the future fibre candidate: small diameter, multicores …
6) SLTE: any correlation between the open SDM cables and the SLTE
7) Other solutions: comparison of SDM with other solutions (C+L, traditional approach…)
8) Future: New SDM generation, SDM cables, C+L, Multicore, Low diameter fibres

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