We show, using simulations, that a combination of orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) and optical single sideband modulation can be used to compensate for chromatic dispersion in ultralong-haul wavelength-division multiplexed (WDM) systems. OFDM provides a high spectral efficiency, does not require a reverse feedback path for compensation, and has a better sensitivity than nonreturn to zero. This paper provides design rules for 800–4000-km optical-OFDM systems. The effects of WDM channel number and spacing, fiber dispersion, and input power per channel on the received Q are studied using extensive numerical simulations. These effects are summarized as a set of design rules.
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