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January 15, 2016

Submarine Cable Capacity Makes it to the Cloud

If you ever get the chance to get to Orleans, Massachusetts, you can see the first attempt to double the capacity of submarine cable. It was for telegraphic services, and mirrored the way that the French used visual telegraphs.

In the past we have talked about the way that submarine cables travel to port locations (and even the shipping containers) and packets of some reasonable similarities as to how the information and goods are delivered.

What is not apparent is that the deployments of undersea cable are increasing, adding to the route diversity and capacity between countries. We can think of this as a natural progression of cloud services. 

All this was triggered by the announcement that TE SubCom is increasing its factory capacity by 50 percent to support marine deployments. It is also a sign that high availability and redundancy have replaced the infamous “five 9’s argument.”

This additional infrastructure will become fully operational later this year, allowing the company to expand on more than 610,000 km (379,000 miles) of its undersea cable installed worldwide to date. Through investments in its marine assets and the addition of another new 3-meter plow, SubCom will enhance its installation capabilities, which will further ensure customers’ successful burial of cable in high-risk areas.

In 2015, the company introduced Open Cables, a flexible business model that allows customers to select their preferred SLTE line card supplier. Today, SubCom can also offer state-of-the-art C+L band optical technology, which significantly improves the available bandwidth per fiber pair.

In addition to the opportunity for overall submarine services comes the opportunity to support offshore vertical markets such as oil and gas.

The point is that the cloud is probably going to become more distributed. Already some companies are selling off data center assets as the ability to use distributed NFV and SDN networks is coming of age. 

And to think this article started with a reference to analog telephonic solutions.  


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