Brian Lavallée is Director of Portfolio Solutions Marketing for Ciena's packet and submarine networking solutions.


Did you know that submarine cables deployed at the bottoms of oceans around the world carry nearly 100% of the world’s intercontinental electronic communications traffic? Well, attendees at SubOptic 2016 knew, and this conference held every three years is a key industry forum for the submarine networking industry. The SubOptic organization exists to promote, foster debate, exchange ideas and act as an educational resource for the entire submarine telecommunications community. 

At SubOptic 2016, which was held in beautiful Dubai a few weeks ago, hundreds of enthusiastic attendees discussed (and debated) the future of submarine networks. A broad range of presentations, panel discussions, posters, and papers related to submarine network technologies and business practices provided attendees with an excellent overview of this critical industry, which doesn’t seem to receive the media recognition it deserves given its absolutely critical role in stitching together the largest manmade creation ever – the Internet.

Ciena had a strong presence at the event with four technical papers, three poster sessions, two presentations, and two panel discussions that covered everything from tracking vessels in open waters approaching subsea cables to the implications of regional investments to how SDN will affect the industry in the future. If you’re interested in understanding the latest innovations in this important industry, check out the items below.


  • Methods & Limits of Wet Plant Tilt Correction to Mitigate Wet Plant Aging (paper, presentation)
  • Real-Time Correlation of Cable Fault to Vessel Location (paper, poster)
  • Real-Time Wet Plant Health Monitoring & Automation (paper, poster)
  • Spectrum Sharing in a Multi-Vendor Environment (paper, poster)
  • SDN - Still Dumb Networks? (presentation)


There’s no “Plan B” for interconnecting continents at the capacity and latency needed to keep the Internet humming – satellites need not apply. This important fact means that submarine technologies will continue to rapidly evolve, out of sheer necessity, just to maintain pace with our voracious appetite for Internet content. Given SubOptic is held every three years, I look forward to seeing how far we’ll have come by then, and where we’re headed. After all, if the submarine industry does not evolve, it will indeed get more media attention.

For more information about GeoMesh, download the Ciena white paper.