Press Release

8QAM Technology Increases Capacity of AEConnect by 50 Per Cent While Providing Greater Spectral Efficiency and Reach

DUBLIN, IRELAND–(Marketwired – Oct 5, 2016) –  Aqua Comms Limited (“Aqua Comms”), a provider of scalable, subsea capacity-based network solutions, today announces it has successfully completed a trial of Ciena's® (NYSE: CIEN) WaveLogic 3 Extreme transmission technology on America-Europe Connect (“AEConnect”), its high-capacity, transatlantic subsea cable network that connects New York to London via Dublin. This test confirms that Ciena's 150 Gb/s per wavelength 8QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation) technology will increase the capacity of Aqua Comm's submarine network by 50 per cent, while providing greater spectral efficiency and reach over vast transoceanic distances.

Key Facts:

  • A reliable, coherent-optimised subsea cable system, AEConnect interconnects metro networks and is designed to address the rise in transatlantic data centre interconnectivity (DCI) market demands. Subsequently, Aqua Comms has incorporated the most important data centre locations in New York, Dublin, and London as key Points of Presence (PoPs) in its network.
  • A key benefit of the 150 Gb/s 8QAM technology is the ability to provide high-capacity DCI, which is instrumental in serving Aqua Comms' on-demand, application-centric customers. 8QAM enables 50 percent additional capacity per channel with 150 Gb/s per wavelength.
  • AEConnect will initially support 13Tbps (130 x 100 Gbps), however, with the introduction of more advanced modulations, including 8QAM, this will continue to increase. In addition to its capacity, AEConnect is designed to provide the most secure and reliable transatlantic cable system in existence. On both the U.S. and European sides, the cable transverses the minimum length of shallow water along the Continental shelf and avoids major fishing grounds and shipping anchorage areas that are known to expose subsea cables to damage. Additional armouring and deeper burial were also obtained to further mitigate potential vulnerability.

The successful trial of 150 Gb/s per wavelength 8QAM follows the recent proof of concept of Ciena's WaveLogic Encryption solution, demonstrating the ability to safeguard all data at the optical layer on AEConnect, as well as its network expansion utilizing Ciena's GeoMeshsolution and 6500 Packet-Optical Platform, powered by WaveLogic 3 Extreme coherent optics, for highly flexible, low-latency and reliable international connectivity.

Executive Comments:

  • “Ciena's submarine leadership combined with their consultative approach makes them a valuable partner that understands the business environment of our customers too. Aqua Comms' network is designed to meet the specific application and business requirements of content providers, cloud-based networks, data centres, IT companies and the global media. The successful trial and deployment of Ciena's 150 Gb/s per wavelength 8QAM technology on AEConnect underscores our commitment to serving our customers' needs, now and into the future.” – Greg Varisco, Chief Executive Officer, Aqua Comms
  • “With global data creation and transmission skyrocketing, investment in submarine network infrastructure is essential. This trial demonstrates Aqua Comms' ability to quickly and easily adjust its long-haul network capacity to meet the present and future needs of its international data centre interconnect and web-scale customers. An innovative and programmable network, supported by WaveLogic coherent optics and Flexible Grid technology, ensures these customers will benefit from maximum scale, reach and flexibility on this critical transatlantic route.” – Ian Clarke, Senior Director, Submarine Systems, Ciena

For more information about AEConnect, visit or email [email protected].

About Aqua Comms Limited Aqua Comms Limited (Aqua Comms) is the owner and operator of the transatlantic cable AEConnect and the Irish Sea cable CeltixConnect, and was established to build, acquire or merge with subsea fiber optic cable networks to provide capacity networking solutions to the global media, content providers and IT companies. To learn more about Aqua Comms and its new transatlantic subsea cable system, AEConnect, visit