The upgrade is expected to be complete by early 2013 and, according to Ciena, will add 5Tbps of extra capacity to the system, which came into service in 2001 with only 80Gbps of capacity in use and a design maximum of 640Gbps. The 100G deployment is the first major capacity increase since the network was upgraded to 10Gbps per wavelength in 2008 taking total capacity to 1.28 Tbps.
The cable was built and is owned by a consortium of 35 telcos that includes Optus' parent SingTel and Telstra. The network provides a dual route between the US and Japan and has two landing stations in California, one in Hawaii, and three in Japan.
The longest link is a direct coast-to-coast connection from Kitaibaraki, Japan to Manchester, California. It is expected to be the first ever direct coast-to-coast 100G submarine network across the Pacific, according to Ciena.
To provide the 100G service, Ciena's 6500 Packet Optical platform with its WaveLogic 3 coherent optical processors will replace existing 10G optical equipment at each landing station.
This is Ciena's second contract for a trans-Pacific 100G upgrade. Earlier this year it was awarded a contract from Southern Cross Cable to upgrade its system to 100G. That upgrade was due to be completed by the end of 2012. However Southern Cross does not contain a link anywhere near as long as the Japan-US cable because both sides of its 'loop' have landing stations in Hawaii.
According to Anthony McLachlan, Ciena's vice president and general manager, Asia Pacific, Ciena "As bandwidth consumption accelerates worldwide, submarine networks have emerged as a potential bottleneck in global networks due to the cost, challenge, and financial risks of deploying new submarine cables. Ciena's WaveLogic 3 coherent technology has completely changed the economics of bandwidth and time-to-market for submarine network operators, enabling dramatic increases in capacity over existing cable systems."
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