Following the opening session of PTC '16, “Waves of Change” is refocusing on the growing demand for global connectivity and bandwidth, and the future of the submarine cable industry as systems reach their 25 year shelf life.

This session will have five presenters addressing the issues: Neal Bergano, vice president of research and development at TE SubCom; Ahmad Fathi Husairi, executive vice president of coporate strategy and investment Telekomunikasi Indonesia International; Frank Rey, director of the Global Acquisition Group of Microsoft; Tim Stronge, vice president of research for TeleGeography; and Greg Varisco, chief operating officer of AquaComms Limited.

The session is moderated by Elaine Stafford, managing partner of The David Ross Group, inc.


Tim Stronge started off the panel.

“Lets start off by talking about where we stand with demand.”

Relatively speaking, growth hasn't fallen of much since 2009.

“A lot of us were anticipating a much larger fall off.”

Also, development of the technology has been impressive.  In the near future, 300 – 400 tbps systems will be required.


Neal Bergano took up the conversation, explaining that new systems are 10x more capacity versus previous technology.

“Now that we have these systems …  it makes sense to share that capacity among many users.” This explains the growth of OADM networks.

Current technology is also effect by the Shannon Capacity, meaning that there is a fundamental limit to optical amplifier technology, which until recently hasn't been an issue. This will be a problem as those cables working upwards of 100 channels begin to near their limit.

This can be deal with using new technology to provide more efficiency, increasing capacity by 4-8x, temporarily fixing the problem.  All isn't lost, however.

“We're not going to break Shannon, but we don't need to to get orders of magnitude more cable capacity.”

New developments in cable technology will create new opportunities for capacity.

When answer a question about whether these improvements would be available by 2018-19, Bergano said they could be available within a few years.

“I could easily see the next 2x coming quickly.”


Tim Stronge took over again to talk about who is buying bandwidth.  The answer is: not many companies.  In fact, there is a large demand for bandwidth being driven by only a few companies like Google.


Ahmad Fathi Husairi took over to speak about diversity of projects in the industry.