Submarine networks carry more than 99 percent of the world’s intercontinental electronic communications traffic. It’s not long ago that submarine networks were seen as distinct from terrestrial networks for historical, technological, and geographic reasons. As such, they were treated very differently from terrestrial networks, which had seen significant advances in networking technologies.

The submarine networking industry has undergone several technological evolutions, including the rapid adoption of coherent modems originally developed for long-haul terrestrial networks. Coherent modems changed how and how much capacity was added to transoceanic corridors, extended the life of existing wet plant assets, opened existing and new wet plants to best-of-breed upgrade vendors, and completely changed legacy business models and associated economics.

Rolling out coherent technology over submarine cables was a key step in uniting land, sea, and cloud networks. It enabled submarine networks to maintain pace with voracious bandwidth demands by maximizing optical spectrum efficiency, which in turn optimized the monetization of existing and new submerged network assets. It also guaranteed network availability by proactively and reactively addressing network faults via analytics-driven software control and automation. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it protected revenues and margins by utilizing optimized network designs that reduce the total cost of end-to-end network ownership.

Submarine cable operators can now mix and match network building blocks to create purpose-built end-to-end solutions. The increasingly popular openness movement in submarine networking—like what’s happening in terrestrial networking—aims to make closed and proprietary submarine networks an obsolete business model. Open submarine networks is a major change in mindset for a segment of the networking market that is traditionally static and conservative. Open networks dramatically change the modeling, design, deployment, and management of submarine networks.

Submarine networking is the process by which data is carried on undersea cables to connect continents. Submarine networks carry 99 percent of the world’s intercontinental electronic communications traffic.

Now that submarine cable operators can select from a broad array of vendors’ best-of-breed technologies, they can streamline operational processes, accelerate service innovation, reduce time to market, and keep up with the demands of web-scale content players that account for an ever-increasing share of transoceanic bandwidth growth.

Ciena’s unique submarine network architecture—GeoMesh Extreme—combines the best of our hardware, software, and professional services, allowing submarine cable operators to scale information-carrying capabilities, protect multiple terabits of traffic from inevitable cable faults, and lower the total cost of network ownership to protect revenues and margins.

Ciena’s GeoMesh Extreme has four building blocks:

  • Switching: 5430 Packet-Optical Platform, 6500 Family, 8700 Packetwave® Platform, OneConnect Intelligent Control Plane

Submarine cables are optimized for required distance and capacity and thus have unique personalities. GeoMesh Extreme enables cable operators to construct purpose-built networks that address specific market requirements over unique submarine cable performance with only the building blocks they need.

Ciena’s original GeoMesh was introduced a decade ago and blurred the lines between submarine and terrestrial networks by viewing them as end-to-end service paths. GeoMesh Extreme takes that network architecture to the next level by adding a significant number of new features, technologies, and services.

With GeoMesh Extreme in your arsenal, you’ll be able to optimize and monetize assets by designing a purpose-built network from end to end, overland and undersea. You’ll keep up with voracious global bandwidth growth, protect tens to hundreds of terabits of traffic, avoid outages from inevitable faults, and protect your revenues and margins by combating ongoing price erosion.