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Everything You Need to Know About Underwater /Submarine Fiber Optic cable

Date: 2022-11-17 09:53:00

Underwater/Submarine fiber optic cable dominate international voice and data traffic, due largely to the advantages offered in terms of high reliability, security and capacity, and cost-effectiveness on major routes. This article will provide some knowledge of underwater/submarine fiber optic cables. 
What is Underwater and Submarine Fiber Optic Cable?
Underwater cable is a fiber optic cable laid underwater across rivers, lakes, beaches, and other places.This cable laying environment condition is much worse than pipeline laying and direct burial laying.


A submarine cable (or subsea/undersea fiber optic cable) is a fiber optic cable laid in the ocean, connecting two or more landing points, which is used for optical signal, network signal transmission, and connection.

Cable Types
According to the application, submarine fiber optic cables can be divided into submarine single armor (SA), submarine double armor (DA), submarine light-weight protected (LWP), submarine light-weight (LW), and submarine light-weight armor (LWA) fiber cable.
● SA cable is suitable for deployment, burial, construction, and recycling in areas with a water depth of more than 20 meters and at least 1500 meters deep.
● DA cable is suitable for deployment, burial, construction, and recycling in areas reaching a depth of 500 meters, provides the protection required within this depth, and should have a certain weight to prevent tides waves from moving submarine cables.
● LWP cable is suitable for deployment, construction, and recycling in areas with a water depth of more than 1000 meters and at least 8000 meters deep, but it has certain anti-wear and anti-fish bite capabilities.
● LW cable is suitable for deployment, construction, and recycling in areas with a water depth of more than 1000 meters and at least 8000 meters deep.
● LWA cable is suitable for the deployment, burial, construction, and recycling in areas with a water depth of 20 meters and 1500 meters, and 2000m water depth when not buried.

How Does Underwater/ Submarine Fiber Optic Cable Work?
Underwater fiber optic cable has layers of steel wire or steel tape armored structure. The structure of the inner sheath and outer sheath are also needed to take into consideration , according to the hydro-geological situation of the river. For example, in the stony soil, scouring seasonal riverbed, fiber optic cable suffers from wear and tear and high tension, not only thick steel wire is needed for armoring, but even a double layer of armor is required. The method of construction should also be selected according to the river width, water depth, flow rate, river bed, flow speed, river bed soil, and so on.
Submarine fiber optic cable is made up of two key components: optical fibers that carry the data and a conductive material that transmits the current used to feed the optical amplifiers located along the subsea cable. Additionally, cables are coated with several layers of protective materials to guard and protect them against water and corrosion.

Most fiber optic cables are installed by an aerial, duct, and direct buried. But when it comes to places with rivers, lakes, and beaches, the traditional fiber cable laying method would require a lot of fiber optic cables and installation costs. An underwater fiber optic cable perfectly solves this issue by connecting both ends with underwater laying. It saves lots of fiber cables, and the laying is also simplified. Other than that, with the fiber optic cable under the rivers and lakes, it won’t be affected by wind and most animals above ground. In addition, underwater/submarine cables provide high-transmission capacity, high reliability, high security, long service life, and low maintenance effort.Submarine cables have excellent crush resistance because of the heavy armoring, and provide better tensile strength, strong anti-interference ability, and good confidentiality performance for the cable.

Underwater/submarine fiber optic cables are used in the telecommunications industry, offshore oil and gas industry, ocean observation network, local area networks(LAN),video, data, CATV, and  inter-office communication applications.


Underwater/submarine fiber optic cables provide good transmission quality, high reliability, long service life, low maintenance effort, and high maintenance capacity communication. Sun Telecom provides a wide range of options for high-quality underwater/submarine cable products to the global market.

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