A while ago, I wrote the “Virtualize Your Submarine Cable” blog looking at the idea of Spectrum Sharing, which logically partitions the available optical spectrum of a submarine optical fiber among multiple different end-users. This solution addresses customers who need more than a few channels (wavelengths) but less that an entire optical fiber, which can be extremely expensive or more often than not, simply unavailable. 

End-users can can choose to dip their toe into Spectrum Sharing, by purchasing spectrum but having the cable operator managed their “virtual fiber pair” service, or they can choose to dive right in and manage the spectrum and required Submarine Line Terminal Equipment (SLE) by themselves. There are pros and cons to each approach. If only there was a freely available reference to explain these pros and cons…

 

Evolution of submarine network services

A fuller spectrum of submarine network services

Spectrum Sharing offers several benefits to end-users and submarine cable operators alike. For example, submarine cable operators can monetize their submerged assets in a new and interesting way, by selling upgradeable THz, and not fixed Tbps. End-users can leverage rapid, ongoing advancements in coherent modem technology because they can increase the capacity of their purchased optical spectrum partition by installing the latest SLTE, when they need it. This allows end-users to leverage the latest coherent optical technology enabling a continual capacity upgrade to a fixed optical spectrum, and also allows the cost per bit to continually decline, which is a key benefit of each new generation of technology.

With great choice comes great responsibility

Owning and operating submarine network services that are based on Spectrum Sharing comes with both opportunities and challenges, which is the case for all new technologies and business models. To help end-users and submarine cable operators to better understand Spectrum Sharing allowing for more informed business and technology decisions, we created the new “Spectrum Sharing Handbook” to complement the existing, and highly popular, “Open Submarine Cables Handbook”.

Both handbooks are free downloads, so get yours today!

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vid spectrum sharing demo
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