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AT&T AND KOKUSAI DENSHIN DENWA TEST FIBER OPTIC SYSTEM

 AT&T AND KOKUSAI DENSHIN DENWA TEST FIBER OPTIC SYSTEM
 SINGAPORE, June 2 /PRNewswire/ -- In a demonstration that will


become a landmark in communications history, AT&T (NYSE: T) and Kokusai Denshin Denwa (KDD) of Japan have successfully laboratory-tested the world's longest optically amplified fiber optic system. The system trial proves the feasibility of a new, significantly higher capacity transpacific undersea cable system.
 The two firms late last week linked two independently developed 4,500-kilometer test beds at AT&T Bell Laboratories in Freehold N.J. The resulting 9,000 kilometer system test bed operated error-free at a transmission rate of five gigabits (billion bits) per second -- nearly 10 times faster than TAT-9, the transatlantic fiber optic system which began service in March. At five gigabits, a system could transmit the text from the entire 30 volume Encyclopedia Britannica in six seconds.
 "This is an historic event," said William Carter, executive director of AT&T's international facilities management. "We've now demonstrated the fundamental capabilities of new optical amplifier technology -- a quantum leap in today's already remarkable fiber optic achievements."
 The system test bed -- equivalent to the world's longest transoceanic cable route -- is comprised of more than 250 spools of glass fibers with bays of optical amplifiers (spliced-in segments of fiber containing the rare earth element erbium). Optical amplifiers boost lightwave signals without first having to convert them to electrical signals and back to light, as is done in today's systems.
 According to Dr. K. Nosaka, executive vice president-KDD submarine cable planning, "What's also important about this project is that demonstrates two major services providers' cooperative commitment to making available to their customers the ultimate in technology at substantially reduced cost."
 AT&T and KDD announced their plans to undertake this project in late 1990. In early May, KDD shipped its 23,000-pound fiber optic test bed in 43 large crates to New Jersey. The KDD test bed was then reassembled and lined with AT&T's system last week.
 "AT&T and KDD jointly developed the requirements and architecture needed to accomplish this feat," Carter said, "But then we each separately built our own test beds in our respective counties. The idea was that in an undertaking of this magnitude, we enhanced our chances of success by building on each other's strengths. So in addition to being the first in the world to attain this new leap in technology, we've also learned from each other."
 Nosaka added: "As a result of our successful trial, we're looking at systems within three years that could offer a capacity equivalent to more than a half-million simultaneous phone calls - compared with about 80,000 today. This magnitude of capacity will allow AT&T and KDD to offer customers significantly expanded communications services and increased reliability of the Pacific cable network as a whole."
 The companies said they plan to begin installing this new technology in late 1994.
 Additional Technical Information
 Optical amplifiers -- segments of optical fiber containing the rare earth element erbium -- boost lightwave signals without first converting them to electrons and back to light, as is done in conventional systems.
 In lightwave communications systems, information is carried as pulses of light instead of electrical pulses. A light source, usually a laser, launches pulses of light down a hair-thin glass fiber, turning on and off to represent the ones and zeros of digitized information.
 As they travel through the fiber, the light pulses broaden and lose their shape and need to regenerated or amplified every 40 miles or so.
 In an optically amplified system the signals get a boost as they pass through spliced-in segments of fiber containing erbium. The optical amplifiers are pumped by semiconductor lasers that energize the signals as they pass through the fiber.
 Optical amplifiers can handle various bit rates and modulation formats. Unlike electronic repeaters which have to be replaced if the bit rate or modulation is changed, optical amplifiers can handle varying system configurations.
 The world's first transoceanic lightwave system TAT-8, went into service in 1988 and has a capacity of 40,000 simultaneous telephone calls. TAT-9, deployed this year, handles 80,000 simultaneous calls. Both operate at 565 megabits (million bits) per second.
 Both use state-of-the-art technology, with electronic repeaters that convert photon (light pulses) to electrons and back every 40 to 60 miles.
 The new AT&T/KDD fiber-optic cable, TPC-5, will have a capacity of 600,000 simultaneous conversations using optical amplifiers and operating at five gigabits (billion bits per second). The cable will link North America with Japan, Hawaii and Guam.
 -0- 6/2/92
 /CONTACT: Donna Cunningham of AT&T Bell Laboratories, 802-482-3748, or at home: 802-482-2933, or Cindy Pollard at CommunicAsia '92, 011-65-338-0066, or at home: 011-65-737-6888/
 (T) CO: AT&T; Kokusai Denshin Denwa ST: IN: TLS SU:


SH-TS -- NY004 -- 6049 06/02/92 08:40 EDT
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