Repeaterless and Repeatered Solutions for Regional Submarine Cable Systems

Heiner Ottersberg and Ashutosh Bhargava discuss how to choose repeaterless vs repeatered for regional submarine cable systems.By Heiner Ottersberg and Ashutosh Bhargava
July 20, 2020


Newly built long-haul and ultra-long-haul submarine cable sys¬tems offer huge surplus capacity which needs to be filled and fed through the regional networks. Together with the existing networks, they provide a worldwide grid of data highways connecting huge data centers and global hot spots. An increasing demand for regional feeder networks is been created for both repeaterless and repeatered technology.

These regional feeder networks have a much smaller footprint. They may con¬nect parts of the same country or multi countries of a geographical region. Systems connecting cities along the coastline of Chile (e.g. PRAT 3500 km), Norway (e.g. KYSTELE 1000 km approx.) or Islands of Indonesia, Philippines, Greece etc. or Countries of a region like Caribbean (e.g. ARCOS joining 15 countries of Caribbean), Baltic or Mediterranean countries like France, Italy and Spain are good examples of such regional systems. Compared to long haul systems, the regional systems are easier to finance, there is often just one customer and their time to market is shorter (less than two years from concept to implementation).

The regional networks need to be high quality, state-of-the-art but cost-effective with priorities to the security, performance of the network and sustainability. Design flexibility, low CAPEX and OPEX are the major advantages of such systems.

It is also critical to choose the type of the regional systems taking advantage of various technologies available for the utmost techno-commercial benefits.

What is the right choice for a specific regional system? Repeaterless-, Repeatered- or even a Hybrid-system of both?


Regional submarine cable system needs to be state-of-the-art but cost-effective, without any compromises on quality & secu¬rity. Although there are differences between the repeaterless and repeatered systems in terms of technology, design and logistics but there are many synergies that the project can benefit from, justifying the feasibility of a hybrid system. The key advantages of regional systems are its Lower CAPEX and Lower OPEX. You can scale them with the demand and maintain them with non-propriety standard technologies.

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