Short SubOptic 2016 Conference Debrief

SubOptic 2016 took place on 18-21 April 2016 in Dubai and was again a great and productive meeting place for all strands of interest in the Undersea Optical Fiber Communications business.  SubOptic 2016 event was hosted by E-marine PJSC and was the “must attend” event for the undersea communications community in 2016.  The event lasted for over three days, commencing with a series of masterclass-tutorial sessions and concludes with a Gala Dinner.


Formed by the subsea cable system industry, for the subsea cable system industry, The SubOptic organization exists to promote, foster debate, exchange ideas and act as an educational resource for the entire submarine telecommunications community.  With its first convention held in 1986, SubOptic is a non-profit, mutual, non-incorporated international organization.  It is steered and sponsored by leading members of the community, and open to every level of our industry, from those who manufacture cables and their components to purchasers of cable networks and system capacity to business analysts and investors.


Some takeaways of the technical sessions and side discussions:

  • In the quest to get closer to the Shannon limit, a lot of focus was placed in the technical sessions on higher order modulation schemes, including a paper on 128QAM and above modulation format (while the today’s de facto standard for long-haul subsea cable systems is QPSK format).
  • A lot of presentations and discussions about open cable systems, clearly pushed by the content guys and some suppliers.  Also many discussions about how open cable system bidding and acceptance should/might work.
  • A few presentations promoting C+L band repeaters for wider optical spectrum, together with presentations pointing out that electrical power is the fundamental limit to optical cable capacity.  Two options for increasing the cable capacity are currently on the table: more optical spectrum per fiber pair, or more fiber pairs inside the submarine cable; both of them hit the global cable power limitation.

A selection of presentations, mostly focused on network topology and subsea cable system/network design, can be found on the Presentations page.

See you at SubOptic 2019 whose location will be announced at PTC’17 (15–18 January 2017 – Honolulu, Hawaii, USA).

For comments or questions, please contact us.

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