Ocean Specialists SubOptic 2019 Review

Ocean Specialists Inc (OSI) looks back on a fruitful week at SubOptic 2019. After three years in the making, SubOptic 2019 lived up to and surpassed attendees’ expectations. With over 900 global telecom specialists on site, this year’s event was the largest in the conference’s records.

Our colleague Steve Lentz, Director of Network Development, excelled on his dual role as presenter and moderator. Steve’s presentation, titled Practical Methods for Integrating Science Sensors into Submarine Cable Systems, explored the benefits of leveraging telecom subsea infrastructure for science purposes and how to best integrate the two. Later in the week, Steve also moderated the Oil, Gas, and Special Markets panel, where the presenters explored the intricacies and advantages of offshore asset fiber optic connectivity.

The subsea telecommunication industry continues its relentless growth that began a few years ago, mostly driven by either the leadership or the participation of OTTs, also referred to as content providers.  OTTs, that include the likes of Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft, demonstrated their continued interest in the development of subsea networks through their large attendance at SubOptic.

Amongst the many topics that were presented in the sessions, SDM (space division multiplexing) was continuously referenced as the preferred method for achieving more capacity from subsea networks. With the use of SDM, operators can obtain higher capacity from less expensive optical fibers, therefore reducing the overall cost of the project, in particular for large, transoceanic networks.  It remains to be seen whether the OTTs will put their money down and wholeheartedly embrace a technological approach that reduces the capacity per fiber pair, even if it does increase the total capacity of the entire cable<

We would like to thank the SubOptic committee for organizing this event and for putting together a great list of panelist, speakers, and presentations. We look forward to attending SubOptic in Macau in 2022.