Submarine cables are communication networks that connect the deep sea world to the land and subsea. As the deployment of subsea cables in different regions continues to increase, their functionality is also changing. Compared to land, cables can increase capacity by up to 100%. If you compare a cable to a person, it is connecting it to another person.
As the speed of use increases and the demand for data and power transmission capacity changes daily, underwater cables are evolving with faster, higher quality connections that even exceed the speed of connections previously offered.
At the same time, the application of new technologies to ocean cables is expanding and optimizing existing networks.
I. New Trends In The Future Of Submarine Cables
As the existing network is unable to meet the growing demand for data and power transmission.
Therefore it is necessary to deploy more networks in the submarine to meet these demands, which is also a direction for future submarine cable development.
The scalability, reliability, and cost of undersea cables are gradually decreasing, but the performance of submarine cables is changing as more submarine cables enter the design phase.
Submarine cables are expected to become more complex and more branched in the future. They will also upgrade and modify existing networks.
It is expected that as technological advances in the design and construction of future deep sea cables accelerate, and as more and more new equipment comes into use, the cables of the future will be safer and more reliable.
1. Technological progress to promote the application of submarine cable more and more
With the continuous development of marine monitoring and mapping technology, as well as the continuous changes in the marine environment, the use of submarine cables is increasingly frequent.
The submarine cable market is expected to continue to grow, especially in marine survey and mapping applications, as well as marine development activities, marine disasters, and climate change on the development of the submarine cable industry to put forward higher requirements.
The scalability of submarine cables is increasingly important for existing networks that need to be upgraded and retrofitted with increasing reliability and affordability to respond to changing market demands.
As the design and construction of future submarine cables becomes more complex, the requirements for submarine cables will continue to increase: the
Larger cable sizes (longer lengths), higher material, and structural requirements for submarine cables.
Higher frequency and higher voltage requirements.
Higher corrosion resistance.
All of these make the design and construction of future deepest submarine cable may become more and more complex, and may become a reality.
2. Transoceanic fiber optic cable
Transoceanic fiber optic cable can provide stable and reliable transmission distance, which is the current transoceanic fiber optic cable development goal.
For example, a fiber optic cable from Norway to Australia could provide over 2500 km of submarine data transmission distance, which could be achieved by connecting submarine cables on the Atlantic side.
At the same time, as the number of submarine fibers grows, the price of submarine fiber optic cable is also rising.
But in the future, as more fiber is laid into the sea and more complex branch design patterns are used, transoceanic fiber optic cables will continue to grow while continuing to reduce costs.
For example, a submarine cable from northern Australia to eastern Australia will enter the design phase in 2020, but this will require additional funding for upgrades, enhancements, and modifications to the submarine cable.
In addition, other trends can be summarized as more security, transmission over longer distances, and higher densities in marine networks. These trends include the adoption of new technologies, the use of new techniques or the development of new features to adapt to changing environmental needs, improved durability, reliability and security, and many other factors.
Thus enhancing the adaptability of transoceanic fiber optic cable to future long-term network capacity growth.
Ⅱ. Traditional Technology Continues To Be Eliminated
As technology evolves, more consideration needs to be given to deploying scalable cables on submarine cables to integrate with other networks to accommodate evolving data and power transmission needs.
However, the way forward is not necessarily through increasing or upgrading the number of cables.
Retractable submarine cables are likely to evolve further as network construction continues to be upgraded and as the rate of development of fiber optic and submarine transmission technologies increases.
The development of submarine cables is still in its early stages, so it will take some time to completely replace traditional types of submarine cables.
Some of the cables currently in use have different characteristics and advantages: for example, the Portland lay and the Atlantic lay is used in several countries.
Japan and South Korea are building submarine cables that are connected to terrestrial cables. In addition, in some areas (e.g. Indonesia and Malaysia) fiber optic prefabricated bar (FBG) is used as a connection cable also has some potential.
1. Portland Laying
Portland laying is a laying method in which the cable is inserted directly from the seabed into the seafloor and then laid on land.
Typically, Portland laying requires significant labor and maintenance costs and therefore requires a scalable system to be deployed over the submarine cable.
Although Portland lay is relatively inexpensive, its cable placement must be done through a series of complex techniques to ensure that the cables are isolated from each other and often requires much more expensive maintenance facilities to maintain or repair.
Portland lay is suitable for submarine cabling in smaller laying areas or poorly located, more demanding areas.
Despite its low cost and short deployment time, Portland lay is currently used mainly in some European countries, especially in the northern and southeastern parts of Europe.
This is because Portland laying is a more economical and easy-to-deploy laying method, and has higher durability as well as higher cost.
2. Atlantic Laying
Atlantic laying reduces the number of times a cable is laid in the ocean by laying the submarine cable from the land to the sea floor.
In addition, if the submarine cable is laid and connected to the submarine cable network, the cable needs to be moved to shore for deployment.
Typically, such laying will result in a large investment in marine infrastructure, which means that some additional time is required to build the corresponding submarine cable equipment/fiber optic cable network system.
However, the Atlantic laying submarine cable has better resistance to seawater corrosion and higher durability than other cables.
3. Japanese fiber optic cable
The Japanese submarine cable system is laid by Portland.
It has the following advantages: It is highly scalable. It can avoid the bending of the submarine cable due to the influence of the sea current. It can save a lot of cable length and is easier to maintain.
Although Portland lay is considered to be one of the most advanced laying methods, most of the submarine cables operating in Japan are laid using an Atlantic lay.
Compared to the Portland lay, the Atlantic lay also has the following advantages.
Easier to maintain the submarine cable in heavy waves.
Long and stable but lower temperatures make submarine cables more sensitive to the outside environment.
No need to re-route the cable to accommodate Portland temperatures of up to 40 km/h.
No need for larger coverage areas and higher waveguide resistance.
Up to 1,500 dB of current.
Lower waveguide resistance.
Fiber optic prefabricated rod subsea fiber optic cable prefabricated rod from the technical point of view, the Atlantic laying also has some obvious advantages: the ability to enable transmission rates of 100 Mbps or more; can provide flexible structure and flexibility.
Ⅲ. The Development Of Submarine Cable And Design Innovation Go Hand In Hand
According to a report released by BSI in 2019, the global submarine cable market volume is expected to grow to $42 billion by 2020. Among them, the market size of North America will reach $11.5 billion (calculated by 2.3% year-on-year growth), and Europe is $8.8 billion (calculated by 5.8% year-on-year growth).
From a geographical point of view, North America is a more dense distribution of submarine cable, so its submarine cable transmission capacity is weaker. Europe region submarine cable transmission capacity is stronger, and therefore its underwater cable configuration scale is also more massive.
But in some regions, the layout of underwater ocean cables may appear some differentiation.
For example, there is variability in the structure of the lines used to connect southeast Alaska, the USA to southeast Canada.
North America due to good weather conditions and proximity to the Pacific subsea region.
This region uses submarine cables that are already in place on land; this submarine system uses hybrid cabling technologies (i.e., traditional cabling machines, PTN, MPO, etc.).
1. Hybrid cabling technology (i.e., traditional cabling machine, PTN, MPO, etc.)
Conventional cabling machines are less used in data centers, so there is less consideration for cost.
PTN is not a necessary cabling method in data centers.
MPO, on the other hand, is a flexible solution that can be used to deploy a trans-Pacific submarine system.
The hybrid architecture of PTN and MPO was used in this subsea cable project. Based on the MPO architecture, the submarine cable has increased network capacity by connecting PCs and servers via network communications within the data center.
The application of TCP/IP protocol in this project requires the provision of at least two Gigabit Ethernet gateways in the submarine transmission nodes, while the PTN acts as a gateway for the seaward connection of the network topology to the end nodes.
So far the submarine cable project has achieved fully functional, secure, and efficient data transmission.
The transmission speed can be significantly improved with the application of traditional cable and traditional inter-cable hybrid structure. With the PTN system, the cost of submarine cable construction can be significantly reduced. After adopting the MPO system, the cabling complexity can be reduced.
2. Smart cable
The U.S. company Vernet believes that the new intelligent cable system can achieve higher reliability and better control of the connection, but is still in the prototype stage.
The company has begun to use artificial intelligence-based systems to create cable drive controllers, which can automatically execute various commands as needed and have the ability to self-learn.
Vernet believes these intelligent systems can be used for higher-capacity connectivity in response to new technologies to accommodate changing growing application needs, including increasing submarine cable capacity, reducing network outages, using artificial intelligence technology for better information transfer, and ensuring control, security, and communication.
Smart cable systems focus on identifying and predicting changes in the marine environment, adjusting signal transmission lines promptly, and intelligently predicting line reliability through the use of artificial intelligence technologies.
And can ensure the reliability of the submarine cable system through manual intervention or system self-adaptation.
One of the future directions of the development of the submarine cable system is the smart cable.
The future submarine cable can use programmable logic controller (PLC), communication network equipment, distributed fiber optic nodes, fiber optic storage devices, etc. to achieve networking or management according to the needs of specific areas.