Virgin Media has enhanced the capacity in its existing submarine cable link between the UK mainland and Ireland using a next-generation optical solution from Nortel.
The 40Gbit/s submarine enhancement, follows Nortel’s deployment of 40Gbit/s technology in Virgin Media’s network, and will support the roll out of superfast broadband services across the UK. The terrestrial and submarine portions of the network have been upgraded to quadruple network capacity with minimal disruption.
Virgin Media operates a north and south optical fibre cable between the UK and Ireland underneath the Irish Sea. This cable already carries 10Gbit/s channels. The upgraded terrestrial and undersea cable network links Lytham St. Annes on the west coast of the UK to Dublin and covers approximately 238 kilometers.
The system upgrade extends the life of Virgin Media’s cable infrastructure investment, as well as providing additional bandwidth. It also provides Virgin Media a potential future migration path to upgrade its submarine link to 100Gbit/s to accommodate the growing popularity and take up of multimedia services.
The upgraded network spans the terrestrial and submarine distances and can carry up to 12 x 40Gbit/s wavelengths, providing up to 480Gbit/s of capacity over a fibre loss of up to 58dB in this deployment over the unrepeatered wet plant. Unrepeatered submarine solutions provide significant capital and operating savings and are also a cost-effective alternative to terrestrial builds in coastal regions.
The end-to-end unrepeatered submarine solution was delivered by Nortel in conjunction with partner MPB Communications, which provided the high-power RAMAN amplification equipment needed to achieve network reach without undersea repeaters. The Nortel 40Gbit/s Adaptive Optical Engine includes simple plug-in interfaces for Nortel’s flagship Optical Multiservice Edge 6500 converged packet optical platform.
Nortel also announced Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SRG SSR idée suisse) has launched first purely optical image network in Suisse. Full uncompressed HD (High Definition) video signals can be transmitted between studios and from Outside Broadcast vans to studios in real time and top quality. The fibre optic network was constructed in a 15 months’ joint project between SRG SSR, Sunrise and Nortel. Sunrise built the fiber optic base infrastructure and operates the network and Nortel equipped the backbone network and the local installations in the external locations and studios. The network connects around 35 football and ice hockey stadiums with the studio locations of TV stations SF, TSR and RSI, and interconnects the main and regional radio and TV studios.