Submarine cable trialled using multicore fibre

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NEC Corporation, alongside subsidiary OCC Corporation and Sumitomo Electric Industries, have completed the first trial of uncoupled 4-core submarine fibre cable. 

The companies say that the trial has verified the transmission performance to meet the exacting demands of global telecommunications networks.

The uncoupled 4-core fibre is being deployed within the OCC SC500 series LW (Lightweight) cable, which has a 17mm outer diameter and withstands 8,000m water depth. This cable can accommodate up to 32 fibres. With multicore fibre, the number of cores can be increased without increasing the cable diameter, with corresponding benefits in the cost-per-bit of the cable system.

NEC and OCC’s work has helped to demonstrate that the cable’s optical transmission performance in the water can fully meet the exacting requirements of modern long-haul submarine cables. It also showed that the process of cabling Sumitomo Electric’s multicore fibre had no effect on its optical characteristics.

This research was supported by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC), Japan, under the initiative Research and  Development of Innovative Optical Network Technology for a Novel Social Infrastructure (JPMI00316).

Multicore fibre is now expected to further increase the number of parallel optical fibre cores without increasing the submarine cable size and structure, enabling the second generation of submarine SDM systems.

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