The theme of the Conference, which took place in Paris from the 22nd – 25th April 2013, was “From Ocean to Cloud” and drew upon the technical and commercial evolution that has taken the industry from the telegraph, to the seamless integration represented by cloud services today.

The Programme Committee Chair (Richard Elliott) was, together with the Papers Committee Chair, (Alice Shelton) responsible for formulating the conference programme for SubOptic 2013.

Richard Elliott (Apollo) was supported by six Strategic Advisors, Elaine Stafford (DRG), John Hibbard (Hibbard Consulting and PTC), Jayne Stowell (Google Inc), Leigh Frame (Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks), Erick Contag (GlobeNet) and John Horne (SubOptic EC Secretary). This group developed a series of tutorial-masterclass seminars, workshops and plenary sessions supported by invited Keynote Speakers and Panel Roundtable discussions.

Videos of SubOptic 2013 Keynote Speeches

Alice Shelton (Alcatel-Lucent) worked with seven Vice Chairmen in the following topic areas to review and assemble an oral and poster paper programme:

  1. The Market Place –  Dieter Sieber (Deutsche Telekom AG)
  2. Project Development and Implementation – Pierre Tremblay (OSI)
  3. Marine Services and Operations – Ron Rapp (TE SubCom)
  4. Network Architecture and Design – Alain Pollini (Orange)
  5. Equipment and Component Technologies – Olivier Courtois (Alcatel-Lucent)
  6. Network Operations and Carrier Services – Gavin Doyle (Vodafone)
  7. Special Markets – Simon Webster (NEC)

SubOptic 2013 Session Programme 

Monday 22 April 2013

Tuesday 23 April 2013

Wednesday 24 April 2013

Thursday 25 April 2013

2013 Keynote Speakers

mridleyMatt Ridley is a scientist and journalist who champions the potential for human progress. His books have sold more than 800,000 copies in 27 languages. Matt is a former Science and American Editor for The Economist.
Despite what you may read, human beings are on average not only wealthier, but healthier, happier, cleaner, cleverer, kinder, freer, more peaceful and more equal than they have ever been. Global prosperity continues to grow and spread at an unprecedented rate despite the current stagnation of the west. Moreover, the source of human prosperity is, and has been for 100,000 years, not individual inspiration through reason, but collective intelligence evolving by trial and error resulting from the sharing of ideas through exchange, specialization and communication. The secret of human prosperity is that everybody is working for everybody else. In this talk Matt will explore the ways that the cross fertilisation of ideas leads to prosperity-enhancing innovation, drawing an analogy with the way that the recombination of genes leads to genetic innovation, and ranging from the old stone age to the internet.

Matt argues that human beings’ ability to connect, collaborate and co-operate gives our species an often underestimated capacity for change and social progress. His latest book, The Rational Optimist (2010), was long listed for the FT’s Business Book of the Year. Matt takes on contemporary pessimism to argue that, in spite of disasters and reverses, the world has been getting better and better for humanity over the last two centuries, and that our quality of life and material wealth will continue to increase in the 21st century. In our lifetime, per capita income has trebled, lifespan has increased by one third and child mortality has fallen by two thirds. At TED Global 2010, Matt showed how, throughout history, the engine of human progress has been the meeting and mating of ideas to make new ideas. It’s not important how clever individuals are, he argues; what really matters is how smart the collective brain is. Innovation comes from people and human exchange, not from government policy or elite diktats


Ed Parsons. The internet is a powerful source of information. Google is working to get the next billion potential users of the internet online by developing an accessible, relevant and sustainable ecosystem. This requires the removal of the various barriers to access for all potential users, making the internet relevant and useful to users beyond “the west” and finally developing an Internet ecosystem in Africa and Asia that is vibrant, sustainable and self-sufficient in the long-term.
Ed Parsons is the Geospatial Technologist of Google, with responsibility for evangelising Google’s mission to organize the world’s information using geography and tools including Google Earth, Google Maps and Google Maps for Mobile. In his role he also maintains links with Universities, Research and Standards Organisations which are involved in the development of Geospatial Technology. Ed is based in Google’s London office and anywhere else he can plug in his laptop.

Ed was the first Chief Technology Officer in the 200-year-old history of Ordnance Survey and was instrumental in moving the focus of the organisation from mapping to Geographical Information. Ed came to the Ordnance Survey from Autodesk, where he was EMEA Applications Manager for the Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Division. He earned a Masters degree in Applied Remote Sensing from Cranfield Institute of Technology and holds an Honorary Doctorate in Science from Kingston University, London.

Ed is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and is the author of numerous articles, professional papers and presentations to International Conferences and he developed one of the first weblogs in the Geospatial Industry at

Ed will talk about “The Next Billion”. There are about two and half billion internet users today worldwide. In the next eighteen months that number is likely to rise by a billion. Who are the next billion and how do they differ from the first billion? Where are they and which products and services will they want?


Emmanuel Desurvire graduated from the University of Pierre & Marie Curie in Theoretical Physics and obtained his Ph.D and SC.D from the Université de Nice in 1983 and 1998, respectively. He has been involved in optical communications for over 25 years, has authored over 200 technical publications, 30 patents and 5 reference books on erbium doped fibre amplifiers (EDFA), global telecommunications, and Classical/Quantum information theory. He is Scientific Director at Thales Research and Technology France, and has held previous positions of post-doc at Stanford University, member of technical staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories, professor at Columbia University and research director at Alcatel (now Alcatel-Lucent).

He has received numerous recognitions including the 1994 Prize from the International Commission for Optics, the 1998 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Engineering, the 2005 William Streifer Scientific Achievement Award, the 2007 IEEE/LEOS John Tyndall Award, the 2007 CNISF Engineers-of-the-Year Award and the 2007 France-Telecom Prize of the French Académie des Sciences. He is also Laureate of the 2008 Millennium Technology Prize and the 2011 European Inventor Award. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and Thomson-Scientific Laureate.

Emmanuel will present “How the EDFA came to be” co-written with Masataka Nakazawa from Tohoku University and David Payne from Southampton University.

Allowing the simultaneous regeneration of high-speed signals at different wavelengths, diode-pumped erbium doped fibre amplifiers (EDFAs) have led the lightwave communications revolution. EDFAs were the key enablers of transoceanic/ continental optical backbones and multi-wavelength networks, which together made possible today’s global Internet. Emmanuel will review the challenges in the conception, early exploration and development of EDFAs, and explore the future.


Chris Burke has spent more than 30 years in the Telecommunications, IT and Technology industries in a career spanning Europe and North America.

After graduating from university in 1982 with a Bachelor of Computer Science, Chris spent 15 years with Bell Northern Research (R&D for Northern Telecom) and Nortel holding a variety of roles in software development, operations and ultimately sales, working across North America, Europe and Asia.

From 2001 to 2004, Chris worked at Vodafone, where he was Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Prior to Vodafone, from 1997 to 2000, Chris was CTO at Energis Communications, forming part of the executive team that led Energis through IPO and into the FTSE 40.

Since leaving Vodafone in 2004 Chris has spent most of his time developing his own Investment Fund and Advisory Business achieving substantial successes such as Ubiquity Software (Chairman and Investor) which IPOed in 2005 and sold to Avaya in 2007, March Networks (Lead independent Board Director) which IPOed in May 2005, Oz Communications (Board) which sold to Nokia in 2008, Dialog Semiconductor (Board and Investor) which completed one of the most successful Secondary Offerings in Technology of 2009.

Chris’ last position in a public company was as Managing Director for Research in Motion (RIM) in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) departing in 2009.