Networking systems provider Ciena has completed capacity upgrades to the SeaMeWe-4 subsea cable.

The company increased the cable capacity from 65Tbps to 122Tbps using its GeoMesh Extreme and WaveLogic 5 Extreme solutions.

Subsea cable
The SeaMeWe-4 has been given an upgrade – Getty Images

The cable uses Ciena’s 6,500 packet-optical platform and Ciena’s navigator network control suite for live visibility and control of network performance.

Sidheeque Machinal, management committee chairman of the SeaMeWe-4 consortium, said: “Ciena’s cutting-edge technology is helping us in optimizing our resources of the Sea-Me-We 4 cable, thereby enhancing its capabilities to address evolving connectivity demands through enhancement in the network, capacity, flexibility, and durability.”

Operated by a consortium of 16 telecom operators, the 18,800 km (11,700 miles) cable connects 14 countries with 16 landing points across Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Western Europe.

Thomas Soerensen, VP of global submarine solutions at Ciena, said: “The Europe-to-Asia route, where SeaMeWe-4 is situated, is experiencing a major digitalization push, resulting in extreme capacity demands.”

The SeaMeWe-4 cable runs through the Bab al-Mandab strait. The 26km strait – also known as the Gate of Grief or the Gate of Tears – is located between Yemen and Eritrea in the Horn of Africa.

Around 17 cables currently run through the Bab al-Mandab strait. The upgrade is timely considering recently several cables were recently damaged by a ship attacked by Houthi rebels.

Reports at the time initially blamed Houthi rebels for cutting Europe India Gateway, AAE-1, Seacom, and other subsea lines in the area. However, later suggested that a ship hit by Houthi missiles, the Rubymar, inadvertently cut the cables when its anchor dragged over the cables.