The development of 100 Gb/s transponder technology is progressing rapidly to meet the needs of next-generation optical/IP carrier networks. In this paper, we describe the upgrade of an installed 10 Gb/s field system to 100 Gb/s using a real-time single-carrier, coherent 100 Gb/s polarization-multiplexed quadrature-phase-shift keyed channel. Performance sufficient for error-free operation after forward-error-correction was achieved over installed 900 and 1800 km links, proving the viability of 100 Gb/s upgrades to most installed systems. Excellent tolerance to fiber polarization mode dispersion and narrowband optical filtering demonstrates the applicability of this technology over the majority of installed fiber plant and through existing 50 GHz reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexers.
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