Farice Lights Up Third Submarine Cable System, ‘IRIS,’ with Ciena

Farice activates IRIS, a 1,700km submarine cable system using Ciena's tech, boosting Europe-Iceland connectivity.Ciena & Farice Press Release
May 23, 2023

REYKJAVIK, Iceland, and HANOVER, Md., USA – May 23, 2023 – Farice, the main provider of international capacity from Iceland to mainland Europe, is leveraging Ciena's (NYSE: CIEN) GeoMesh Extreme submarine network solution, powered by WaveLogic 5 Extreme coherent optics, to support its recently launched IRIS cable system connecting southwest Iceland to Galway, Ireland, with onward connectivity to the UK, Denmark, and the Nordics.

The 1,700km submarine cable is the third to connect Iceland to Europe, providing a diverse, high-capacity pathway for traffic flowing between the regions. The redundancy offered by IRIS and Farice’s other submarine systems—FARICE-1 and DANICE—significantly increases network service availability, a critical requirement in today’s increasingly connected society.

Key Facts:

Iceland’s unique geological composition has helped the country become a world leader in clean energy and a pioneer in geothermal technology, attracting multinational corporations, tier 1 and 2 service providers, and data center operators alike because of low electricity costs and renewable energy sources.

The IRIS cable system, which went live on March 1, is a six-fiber pair trunk delivering 22Tb/s per fiber pair, for a total capacity of 132Tb/s, at 500Gb/s line rates.

For IRIS, Farice deployed Ciena’s 6500 Packet-Optical Platform, powered by WaveLogic 5 Extreme coherent optics, and Manage, Control and Plan (MCP) domain controller. Ciena Services provided consulting, systems integration, training, and optimization—and will perform maintenance services to ensure the network continues to operate at peak performance.

Additionally, Ciena assisted Farice with upgrading terrestrial routes in Iceland for IRIS and DANICE to a protected ring system with a fast restoration using a ROADM-based GeoMesh Extreme architecture; DANICE was also updated to WaveLogic 5 Extreme coherent optics. 

Executive Comments:

“Our new IRIS submarine cable system provides a critical ‘digital bridge’ between Iceland and Ireland, the heart of trans-Atlantic connectivity and an important data center hub. Ciena’s GeoMesh Extreme submarine network solution allows us to support the continued growth of Iceland’s international business presence with resilient, high-speed, low cost-per-bit connectivity to mainland Europe.”

– Örn Orrason, Vice President of Sales and Business Development, Farice

“By deploying a third submarine network cable in Iceland, Farice has dramatically increased the redundancy and resiliency of connectivity in the northwest Atlantic. Route diversity and green energy capabilities will help make Iceland highly attractive to data center operators, cloud providers, and other businesses that require high-performance networking.”

– Thomas Soerensen, VP, Global Submarine Solutions, Ciena 

Additional Resources:

Submarine Networks: Past, Present and Future Podcast with Ed McCormack and Brian Lavallée

Submarine Networking Handbook Bundle

Submarine Networks EMEA 2023: See Ciena’s experts speak on Wednesday, May 31: Thomas Soerensen: “Submarine Cable Industry Trends” keynote; Richard Norris: “Building Next Generation Submarine Cable Networks” panel; Alice Shelton: “Spectrum Sharing” panel; and Darwin Evans: “The Future of SLTE” panel


About Farice

Farice is the owner and operator of three submarine fiber systems connecting Iceland to Europe: FARICE-1, DANICE and IRIS. Farice provides international wholesale connectivity services to telecom operators in Iceland, Faroe Islands and Greenland, and data centre customers in Iceland. The company provides diversified services to its customers including high capacity DWDM wavelengths, IP transit and Ethernet services. Farice is fully owned by the Icelandic Government and plays an important role in Iceland's infrastructure for the greater public good and economic life in Iceland. Visit: www.farice.is.

About Ciena

Ciena (NYSE: CIEN) is a global leader in networking systems, services, and software. We build the most adaptive networks in the industry, enabling customers to anticipate and meet ever-increasing digital demands. For three-plus decades, Ciena has brought our humanity to our relentless pursuit of innovation. Prioritizing collaborative relationships with our customers, partners, and communities, we create flexible, open, and sustainable networks that better serve all users—today and into the future. For updates on Ciena, follow us on LinkedInTwitter, the Ciena Insights blog, or visit www.ciena.com.

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