The Future of the Submarine Cable

The Future of the Submarine Cable

submarine cableOne of the most critical aspects of the telecommunication infrastructure is the underwater cable network. Technology trends such as artificial intelligence, faster connectivity with 5G, and machine learning all will have an impact on the submarine cable infrastructure. So why are submarine cables so essential?

The Internet’s Backbone

The main reason why a submarine cable is critical to the world of telecommunications is that these cables carry more than 99% of internet traffic inter-continentally. These cables bridge enormous transoceanic gaps and without them, communication connectivity would be almost null and void.

These slim cables crawl the length of the ocean’s abyss world-wide to bring us the world-wide-web. It is up to telecom experts to ensure these slim marvels are able to transverse the ocean floor and continue to evolve to greater heights with technology trends.

The Impact of Technology Advancements on a Submarine Cable

One of the most notable technology advancements impacting the submarine cable network is the increase of these cables to be able to carry more information. Leading-edge advancements have also impacted the underwater cable network by improving:

  • Flexibility
  • Availability
  • Reliability
  • Agility

The evolution of information connectivity shows no signs of decreasing in development. However, according to the laws of physics we are encroaching upon the Shannon Limit.

Claude Shannon’s Theory in relation to Submarine Cables

Definition: The Shannon Limit is “the maximum information-carrying capacity of a submarine cable optical fiber pair.”

submarine cable

A fiber optic cable is a finite physical object and only so many bits of light or information can travel within the fiber at a given time. The theory was developed by Claude Shannon an American computer scientist and mathematician nearly 70 years ago in 1948. The theories he developed became the base of the electronic communication network that makes all of our telecommunication on earth possible. Although the Shannon Limit theory cannot be overcome, there are possible alternatives to avoid this information barrier.

Other techniques to bypass the Shannon Limit can include increasing the bandwidth by expanding the L-band and increasing the spectrum availability. Other techniques involve implementing band repeaters that are wider than current fiber-optic capacity, deploying an increased amount of fiber pairs within the submarine cable, and utilizing advanced multi-core fiber cables. There are more options to evolve technology around The Shannon Limit that lie outside of the optical transmission medium or optimizing the spectrum and clearing any noise that could inhibit a clear transmission. The technology behind fiber optics and submarine cables will continuously evolve and bring even more options for the telecommunications industry.

GeoTel Communications offers location-based data, such as a submarine cable map. If your company could benefit from this and other forms of telecom data, contact us today for a free demo.

Author: Valerie Stephen

Valerie Stephen
valeriestephen@geo-tel.com