High-Capacity Submarine Telephone Cables

Implications for Communication Satellite Research and Development

by R. T. Nichols

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An assessment of the implications of transistorized cables for communication satellite research and development. The memorandum surveys the development of submarine telephone cables and then examines the assumption that satellites would be more economical than conventional communications facilities for long-distance, over-water, large-capacity circuits. It is pointed out that satellite circuits cost the same over water as over land; on the other hand, submarine cable circuits probably cost no more than land-line circuits in many areas of the world, and only twice as much in the U.S. The memorandum suggests that, initially at least, satellite R&D should be directed toward providing a few channels connecting a great many stations rather than a great many channels connecting only a few stations.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Research memorandum series. The Research Memorandum was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1973 that represented working papers meant to report current results of RAND research to appropriate audiences.

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