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SEA-ME-WE 4 doubles undersea capacity with optical link

Optical communications technology provider Ciena doubles capacity of undersea cable links covering South/Southeast Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and Europe to 122Tbps

Looking to meet the ever-growing demand for bandwidth and deliver more flexible, durable and cost-effective connectivity, the SEA-ME-WE 4 cable consortium has turned to Ciena to deploy advanced, coherent optics to double the capacity of the congested Asia-to-Europe route.

Operated by a consortium of 16 telecoms operators, the SEA-ME-WE 4 project is a next-generation submarine cable system linking Southeast Asia to Europe via the Indian sub-continent and Middle East. Approximately 18,800km long, the cable connects Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Western Europe, in particular Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Italy, Tunisia, Algeria and France.

The project aims to take these regions to the forefront of global communication by significantly increasing the bandwidth and global connectivity of users along its route between Singapore and France. The cable system has been designed to provide interfaces for connection in between terminal stations at a number of locations.

The upgrade to the cable has seen Ciena’s GeoMesh Extreme submarine network solution deployed to provide a capacity increase from 65Tbps to 122Tbps through the system.

With GeoMesh Extreme, and also using its 6500 Packet-Optical platform, Ciena said SEA-ME-WE 4 could maintain pace with voracious global demand for bandwidth, protect terabits of traffic and ensure optimal network availability. Additionally, its WaveLogic 5 Extreme coherent optics are said to help lower costs significantly by increasing the capacity per wave up to 450Gbps.

SEA-ME-WE 4 is also using Ciena’s Navigator Network Control Suite for real-time visibility into and control of network performance.

“Ciena’s cutting-edge technology is helping us in optimising the resources of the SEA-ME-WE 4 cable, thereby enhancing its capabilities to address evolving connectivity demands through enhancement in network capacity, flexibility and durability,” said SEA-ME-WE 4 consortium management committee chairman Sidheeque Machinal.

“This upgrade holds particular significance given the pivotal role of the SEA-ME-WE 4 cable system in driving digitalisation efforts across the diverse regions where the system is passing through,” Machinal added.

Ciena’s vice-president of global submarine solutions, Thomas Soerensen, said: “The Europe-to-Asia route, where SEA-ME-WE 4 is situated, is experiencing a major digitalisation push, resulting in extreme capacity demands. With [our] expertise in building critical submarine network infrastructure, we’re helping SEA-ME-WE 4 address rising capacity demands by making the switch to network architectures that adapt to leverage intelligence, scalability and programmability.”

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