By Marketwire News

ALLEN, TX РThe Columbus III consortium awarded Xtera Communications, Inc. a contract to upgrade the transatlantic segment of the Columbus III Submarine Cable system between Hollywood, Florida and Lisbon, Portugal. The work and acceptance testing was completed on September 30, 2009, and the system is now ready to be placed in service, with Xtera's advanced 20 Gbit/s Differential Phase Shift Key (DPSK) Submarine Line Terminal Equipment (SLTE), offering a significant increase in capacity as well as headroom for future growth. The consortium parties participating in the upgrade are AT&T, PT Comunica̵̤es, TATA Communications, Telkom SA Limited and Verizon Business.

This upgrade will significantly increase the capacity between the United States and Portugal to 160 Gbit/s initially, thus improving service to other countries, such as Africa. The system can accommodate up to 320 Gbit/s with potential to grow further.

“The Columbus III system spans 7500 km — more than any other Trans-Atlantic link — and it is a major accomplishment to provide an N x 20 Gbit/s solution on line plant originally designed for only 8 x 2.5 Gbit/s,” said Jon Hopper, chief executive officer of Xtera. “We are very pleased to be selected by the Columbus III consortium for this strategic upgrade.”

The Columbus III network was originally placed in service in December 1999 and connects Portugal, Spain, Italy and the United States. In addition to the diversity of landing it was designed to offer reduced latency from the southern United States and the Americas to points in southern Europe and beyond. The introduction of 10 Gbit/s technology enables a direct high capacity diverse route from the southern United States to southern Europe and allows the Columbus III owners to offer alternative landings to the Northeast corridor in the United States and the UK and France landings in Europe.

Xtera's submarine upgrade solution, the NXT system, is highly optimized for operation on existing submarine cables. It offers advanced monitoring capabilities, including monitoring existing submerged repeaters, supports detection of faults in the existing plant, low power consumption, high reliability sealed clam-shell circuit packs, and NEBS Zone 4 earthquake compliance. Xtera's NXT system uses 20 Gbit/s DPSK (Differential Phase Shift Keying) which greatly increases capacity in existing fiber, while being completely compatible with the existing repeaters and other equipment.

About Xtera Communications

Xtera Communications specializes in network infrastructure that delivers the highest capacity, reach and density. Xtera offers an extensive portfolio of optical transport solutions for long-haul, regional, metropolitan and sub-sea networks, and WAN traffic management solutions for both enterprise and telecom companies. With deployments in five continents, Xtera's optical transport portfolio helps service providers worldwide reach new markets via new deployments and extends the life of their existing network assets with cost-effective upgrades. Xtera delivers compelling advantage to its customers by maximizing network capacity, reach and value.