Strategies for reducing latency and increasing bandwidth in undersea communications

Undersea communications are essential for linking people and companies all around the world. However, long-distance data and communication transfer can result in high latency and restricted capacity, reducing communication quality and speed. As the need for data and communications grows, it is becoming increasingly vital in subsea communications to minimise latency and boost bandwidth. This article in SUBCO’s series on optimisation and diversity proposes popular techniques for lowering latency and improving bandwidth in subsea communications.

1. Optical fibre technology

The usage of optical fibre cable technology is one of the most successful ways for lowering latency and boosting capacity in subsea communications. Optical fibre cables, which transport data at the speed of light, provide a high-speed and low-latency solution for submarine communications. Optical fibre cables have mostly replaced old copper cables, resulting in major improvements in the quality and speed of subsea communications.

2. Wavelength division multiplexing

The use of wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) technology is another technique for lowering latency and boosting capacity in submarine communications. Multiple data channels may be carried over a single optical fibre cable using WDM technology, boosting the capacity and bandwidth of subsea communications. This technique has enabled the transmission of massive volumes of data across great distances, lowering latency and enhancing the quality of subsea communications. Another critical tactic is the use of high-capacity routers and switches, which enable efficient data routeing and switching inside subsea networks. These devices allow subsea networks to handle massive volumes of data while also lowering latency and improving bandwidth. The use of software-defined networking (SDN) technologies in subsea networks has also grown in popularity, allowing for the dynamic design and administration of network resources, lowering latency and improving capacity.

3. Shorter data travel distances

The relocation of data centres closer to the shore has also reduced latency and increased capacity in subsea connections. Data centres are being built closer to the shore, shortening the distance that data must travel and increasing the speed of subsea communications. Edge computing is also being utilised to analyse data closer to the source, eliminating the requirement for data to be carried across vast distances and boosting submarine communications efficiency.

4. Artificial intelligence and machine learning

Furthermore, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) has grown in popularity in submarine communications. AI and machine learning are being used to optimise data routeing and switching, lowering latency and improving capacity. These technologies are also being utilised to monitor and repair subsea networks, which reduces the need for manual intervention while increasing the dependability of underwater communications.

5. Diversity

Another successful technique for minimising latency and boosting capacity in underwater communications is the employment of several undersea cable networks. Multiple cable systems deployed offer redundancy and enhanced capacity, lowering the danger of single-point failure and assuring the dependability of underwater communications. Numerous solutions exist for minimising latency and improving bandwidth in submarine communications.

Ultimately, the utilisation of optical fibre cable technology, WDM technology, high-capacity routers and switches, data centres and edge computing, AI and ML, and various underwater cable networks has greatly improved the quality and speed of undersea communications. In the future, these methods will continue to fuel the expansion of underwater communication and the creation of new subsea networks.

Stay tuned for the next article in SUBCO’s ten-part series on submarine optimisation and deployment, where we discuss the impact of ocean currents, tides and other environmental factors on undersea connectivity.

Experience the SUBCO difference

Get in touch with us