The world's highest capacity submarine cable could reach speeds 20 percent higher than theoretically possible. In a recent 16QAM modulation trial, a 4,000-mile transatlantic cable, co-operated by Facebook and Microsoft, achieved record transmission speeds of 26.2 terabits per second. This represents a 20 percent improvement over the 20 Tbps, with each pair of the eight fiber optic cables of the cable initially thought to be capable, according to the Infinera research team that conducted the test.
The speeds were demonstrated on the MAREA cable, with a total theoretical capacity of 1
According to Infinera, the announcement is important in two ways. First, the new approach to an existing cable has been demonstrated, potentially allowing for capacity expansion without having to spend hundreds of millions on laying new cables. Second, the speeds were shown on a cable spanning such a distance.
However, it will take a while for such speeds to become common. Although transmission rates of 20 TBit / s have previously been considered possible, the average transmission speed of the MAREA cable is currently only 9.5 TBit / s, which indicates that there are still other practical hurdles to overcome.