Europe India Gateway cable boosts capacity to 28Tbps

Europe India Gateway cable boosts capacity to 28Tbps

24 February 2020 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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Ciena has won a contract to upgrade the nine-year-old Europe India Gateway (EIG) subsea cable, which runs 15,000km from the UK through the Mediterranean to the UAE and India.

The upgrade adds 24.3Tbps of information carrying capacity to the EIG cable, with a spectral efficiency increase of 52%, in comparison with previous technology. The original cable was designed to carry 3.84Tbps, which implies total capacity is now more than 28Tbps.

David Moore, who chairs the management committee for the EIG, said: “The EIG transports significant quantities of data between consumers and businesses and we continue to evolve its capacity to support both present and future requirements.”

According to LinkedIn, Moore is now the senior network infrastructure planner for submarine cables at Verizon, based in the UK.

The expanded capacity means that EIG is 32% bigger than GCX’s planned Eagle cable. Bill Barney, who was then CEO of GCX, told Capacity last August that Eagle, which will run from Marseille to Singapore via the Mediterranean and India, is designed to carry 20Tbps.

GCX was expecting to announce a contractor for Eagle in January but that was delayed, probably because the company was then undergoing financial restructuring.

With Ciena’s WaveLogic Ai, the upgraded EIG will be able to transport up to 400Gbps per wavelength, driving more capacity per channel at longer distances.

The cable, the first section of which went into service in late February 2011, was announced in 2008. It links the UK with Gibraltar, Portugal, Monaco, France, Libya, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Oman, the UAE and India (see TeleGeography map, above).

The original contractors for the cable system were Tyco Electronics Sub-sea Communications – now SubCom – and Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN), now owned by Nokia.

A decade on, the cable has been upgraded with Ciena’s GeoMesh solution, powered by WaveLogic Ai coherent optics, which, says Ciena, “offers EIG new levels of flexibility, the lowest cost per transported bit, and the ability to meet unpredictable traffic demands”.

Ian Clarke, VP of global submarine sales at Ciena, said: “The nature of global business today demands instant and reliable access to partners, customers and employees anywhere and at any time. Across Europe, India and the Middle East, this connectivity is reliant on technology like the WaveLogic-powered GeoMesh submarine network solution that is scalable, flexible, and able to adapt to the intense requirements of a bandwidth-hungry environment.”

EIG is owned by AT&T, Bharti Airtel, BSNL, BT, Djibouti Telecom, du, Gibtelecom, Libya International Telecommunications Company, MTN, Omantel, Portugal Telecom, Saudi Telecom, Telecom Egypt, Telkom South Africa, Verizon and Vodafone, according to TeleGeography. EIG does not appear to have updated its own website since 2011.