Verizon Customers Gain Much Needed Capacity With 40G Upgrade of Submarine Cable System Linking Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Europe

With the announcement on Tuesday (Feb. 1) of submarine cable SEA-ME-WE4's upgrade to 40 Gbps, Verizon customers doing business in Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East will be able to immediately meet their needs for more capacity and take advantage of improved performance and better scalability.

"SEA-ME-WE4 is a major link connecting Southeast Asia to Europe through the Middle East - critical regions to our multinational customers," said Ihab Tarazi, vice president of global network planning for Verizon. "With the phenomenal growth we're seeing in these areas, SEA-ME-WE4 will provide the much needed capacity without the time and cost of laying new cable." 

SEA-ME-WE4 is the fourth project in the SEA-ME-WE (South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe) series and links Southeast Asia to Europe through the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East. The system was launched in 2005 and uses DWDM (dense wavelength division multiplexing) to carry voice, data, Internet and various broadband applications.

The 20,000-kilometer (12,427 miles) SEA-ME-WE4 system is the longest submarine cable system to deploy 40 Gbps technology, the highest wavelength capacity currently available on such systems.

Of the 16 members of the consortium that developed the SEA-ME-WE4 system, Verizon is the only U.S.-based service provider that was an initial member. In addition, Verizon is a landing/terminal party for the submarine cable system in Marseilles, France.

The SEA-ME-WE4 is a key component in Verizon's sophisticated mesh network architecture, which covers 14 transoceanic routes and a combined 40,000-plus miles of ultra-long-haul network in the U.S. The architecture uses all available network routes, lowering latency (the time it takes for an optical signal to travel from one point to another), and increasing route flexibility and diversity. 

Mesh networks such as Verizon's offer restoration within 300 milliseconds and require 15 percent fewer dedicated protection paths.

With investments in more than 80 submarine cables, Verizon is a leader in the submarine cable industry. SEA-ME-WE4 complements Verizon's existing submarine network cable systems serving these regions, including the Trans-Pacific Express and the Europe-India Gateway.

Verizon is the only U.S.-based founding member of the Trans-Pacific Express, which was announced in 2006 and was the first high-speed direct link between the U.S. and mainland China. In May 2008, Verizon joined a consortium of 17 companies building the Europe-India Gateway, a next-generation undersea optical cable system connecting Europe, the Middle East and India.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, NASDAQ:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving 94.1 million customers nationwide.  Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers innovative, seamless business solutions to customers around the world.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 194,000 and last year generated consolidated revenues of $106.6 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.