Submarine networking

Interconnecting the world with Ciena's GeoMesh Extreme submarine networking solution

The Internet. International communications. Global data transport. Without submarine cable networks, these simply wouldn’t exist as you know and use them today. Contrary to popular belief, satellites account for a miniscule part of global connectivity. Submarine networks do the heavy lifting in keeping the world connected—all from the depths of the ocean floors. As such, this critical segment of the telecommunications industry requires state-of-the-art fiber-optic hardware and software.

Submarine networks carry over 99 percent of the world’s intercontinental electronic communications traffic. To keep exponentially-increasing volumes of data flowing reliably, the submarine networking industry has adopted many technology advancements, most importantly coherent optical modems and Reconfigurable Add-Drop Multiplexers (ROADMs). Together, these revolutionary technologies enable capacity to be added flexibly to transoceanic corridors, extend the life of existing wet plant assets, open previously closed wet plants to best-of-breed vendors, and enable unprecedented capacities on both existing and new submarine cables. Along with operations software, analytics, and automation, these advancements significantly improve submarine business agility and margins.

Customer References

The Big Three

By uniting land, sea, and cloud networks with Ciena’s pioneering GeoMesh Extreme submarine network solution you’ll be better able to:

No. 1

Maintain pace with voracious and ongoing bandwidth demands by maximizing limited submarine optical spectrum efficiency for optimized asset monetization, leveraging WaveLogic™ 6 Extreme coherent optics and real-time Liquid Spectrum™ analytics.

No. 2

Guarantee overall network availability by proactively and reactively addressing network faults via intelligent mesh protection coupled with Manage, Control and Plan (MCP) intelligent network control.

No. 3

Protect and grow revenues and margins through optimized network designs that reduce the total cost of end-to-end network ownership and support a variety of submarine services, such as sub-wavelength services, wavelength services, and Spectrum Sharing services.

Industry insights

Open submarine networks are truly a revolutionary change to a previously static and particularly conservative segment of the global networking industry. From a technology perspective, openness completely changes how submarine networks are modeled, designed, deployed, and managed. From a business perspective, network operators can choose best-of-breed technologies from a broader and more secure vendor supply chain, streamline operational processes, accelerate service innovation, reduce time-to-revenue, and maintain pace with voracious bandwidth demand growth by both content providers and wholesalers.

Ciena insights

Submarine cable operators can freely mix-and-match various building blocks to create purpose-built network solutions that address specific and often unique business requirements. These options align with the overall openness movement in the networking industry, which aims to minimize or outright eliminate the closed and proprietary nature from submarine networks. Submarine cable operators are now able to choose any vendor’s terminal equipment based on the best technology at the right cost and at the time it’s required.

"There’s no ‘Plan B’ for interconnecting continents at the capacity, reliability, and latency required to keep the Internet humming. This vital fact means that submarine networking technologies will (and must) continue to rapidly evolve, out of sheer necessity, just to maintain pace with our voracious appetite for content and applications in a highly reliable manner." 
– Brian Lavallée, Senior Director of Solutions Marketing

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What’s next


Following the combined technological innovation and industry adoption of coherent optical transmission, intelligent mesh protection switching, and Open Cables, the industry is now leveraging analytics alongside intelligent data-driven automation. With GeoMesh Extreme programmable infrastructure—combined with analytics and intelligence and software control and automation—network operators can migrate toward the Adaptive Network, overland and undersea, to unleash even greater possibilities.

All global submarine networking insights

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