Telecom Egypt, Alcatel-Lucent start 40G Mediterranean system

Telecommunications service provider Telecom Egypt (Cairo, Egypt), and equipment vendor Alcatel-Lucent (Paris, France), have announced that the TE-NORTH Cable System, provisioned with 40 Gigabit per second (40G) wavelengths across the Mediterranean, is in service. TE-NORTH is a long submarine telecommunications cable linking France and Egypt, and is the first Mediterranean cable network to provide commercial service using 40G technology.

The 3600km system connects Abu Talat, Egypt, to Marseille, France, with a branch to Pentaskhinos, Cyprus and also includes other branching units for further expansions in the Mediterranean basin, according to Alcatel-Lucent. The introduction of this technology doubles the original design capacity of the system from 10 Terabits per second to over 20 Terabits per second (Tb/s), equivalent to the transfer of over 32,000 HD movies in 60 seconds, says the equipment vendor.

TE-NORTH’s expanded design capacity will help Telecom Egypt meet the country’s growing demand, says Telecom Egypt. By boosting connectivity across the Mediterranean basin, the 40G technology improves Telecom Egypt’s ability to serve global operators whose international services transit Egypt and rely on Egypt to hub the services in the Middle East, Asia and Africa region.

To implement the upgrade, Alcatel-Lucent used its 1620 Light Manager product, previously deployed as part of the original $125 million contract, and which was subsequently upgraded to 40G. To test the upgradability of the TE North system, a field trial was conducted on the system in 2010 with 64x40G channel capability per fiber pair, using a proprietary modulation format coupled with next-generation coherent detection which mitigated the transmission impairments in a cost-effective and automated manner, says Alcatel-Lucent.

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