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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 keeping the world connected. Submarine networks do the heavy lifting—all from the depths of the ocean floors. It’s time we give this critical segment of the telecom industry the rightful recognition it deserves.

Submarine networks carry over 99 percent of the world’s intercontinental electronic communications traffic. The submarine networking industry has experienced several technology advancements in recent years, most importantly the rapid adoption of coherent optical modems. This revolutionary technology changes how capacity is added to transoceanic corridors, extends the life of existing wet plant assets, opens previously closed wet plants to best-of-breed upgrade vendors, and enables unprecedented capacities on both existing and new submarine cables that, together, completely change legacy business models.

The Big 3

Uniting land, sea, and cloud networks with the latest submarine network solutions results in:

No. 1

Maintaining pace with voracious and ongoing bandwidth demands by maximizing limited submarine optical spectrum efficiency for optimized asset monetization

No. 2

Guaranteeing overall network availability by proactively and reactively addressing network faults via intelligent mesh protection coupled with analytics and automation

No. 3

Protecting and growing revenues and margins through optimized network designs that reduce the total cost of end-to-end network ownership

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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