Over 25 attendees joined Anders Ljung, Hexatronic, and Eckhard Brukschen, SubCable News, for a round table session on “Unrepeatered Systems – Design, Development and Disaggregation”. It was the first session of its kind, purely focused on unrepeatered systems, and driven by an industry-wide need for more discussion on this important topic. Questions such as, “over what distance are unrepeatered systems technically and commercially viable?” and, “in what circumstances are unrepeatered systems favourable over repeatered ones?” were discussed. 

The group moved on to discuss the relationship between power and telecoms cables and the constraints of installation, operation and maintenance. The concept of when and where powered cables may be unacceptance was addressed, with participants noting that in some parts of the world power shortages meant that repeatered systems were not a viable option. Participants asked whether unrepeatered and repeatered cables could be combined, and instances where connectivity to oil & gas platforms have utilised this approach were described.
The participants represented a wide range of the market, from cable suppliers such as Nexans, to the optical experts from Xtera, system purchasers and even maintainers. The round table ended with a consensus that more market analysis and reporting about unrepeatered system metrics needs to take place, with many of the cable maps and studies entirely missing out unrepeatered cables. It was suggested that ICPC and SubOptic should create a separate forum/working group for unrepeatered systems, and that cable database holders, such as Telegeography, Infrapedia and SubTelForum, could further assist by including all the existing unrepeatered systems in their cable maps. 
We  hope that this will be the first of many such discussions on this important field and would like to see similar round table sessions in other industry conferences such as Submarine Networks World. 
If you have any questions please contact Anders Ljung or Eckhard Bruckschen
Submarine Networks EMEA
Anders and Eckhard’s roundtable took place at Submarine Networks EMEA in London in February 2020. The event will return to the Business Design Centre on 16th and 17th February 2021. Head to the event website to keep up to date with the conference.