FRANKFURT Oct 12 Nokia's Alcatel
Submarine Networks (ASN) Unit said on Wednesday it has set a new
record for cable transmission capacity for communications
traffic - doubling its previous levels - as the company responds
to booming demand from Internet firms.
The top supplier of undersea cable networks said that with
the company's research arm, Nokia Bell Labs, it had demonstrated
in lab tests a 65 terabit-per-second transmission using
dual-band fiber amplifiers - the equivalent of streaming 10
million high-definition TV channels simultaneously.
Google, Microsoft and Facebook as
well as mainstay telecom operator and government customers are
all in need of greater communications capacity. Research firm
Telegeography estimates the market is poised to see an explosion
of new cable deployments worth more than $8.1 billion over the
next three years.
"The Internet players are driving demand across the Atlantic
and Pacific, within Asia to some degree and between Latin
America and the United States," said Alan Mauldin, research
director at Telegeography.
The business has long been subject to both big advances in
technology and dramatic capacity gluts, which, in turn, helps
drive further demand by slashing network costs, analysts say.
While only three subsea networks worth $490 million were
deployed in 2015, 33 networks are set to be built within the
next three years, Telegeography predicts.
ASN Chief Technology Officer Olivier Gautheron said that,
when commercially ready to deploy over the next two to three
years, the new technique promises to help reduce transmission
costs, increase network resilience and allow networks to
dynamically adapt to changing traffic conditions.
The ASN trial took advantage of a new "probablistic"
modulation technique from Bell Labs that allow customers to
maximise the capacity of high-speed optical networks or to trade
off capacity by extending the distance needed between amplifiers
to boost electronic signals in order to reduce network costs.
Nokia does not disclose specific results for ASN, saying
only that the business enjoyed year-on-year growth in revenue
and gross profit in the latest quarter, which was partially
offset by weakness in its terrestrial cable business, known as
Radio Frequency Systems.
ASN is the market leader in undersea cable networks with
more than 580,000 kilometres of optical submarine systems
deployed around the globe. It held a 47 percent share of the
market in the decade up to 2014, according to research firm
Rivals include U.S.-based TE SubCom, with 30 percent and NEC
with 12 percent. Smaller rivals range from Fujitsu
with 4 percent to Huawei Marine with 2 percent to
Ericsson, with just 1 percent share.
(Reporting by Eric Auchard; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)