In this work we experimentally investigate the improved intra-channel fiber nonlinearity tolerance of digital subcarrier multiplexed (SCM) signals in a single-channel coherent optical transmission system. The digital signal processing (DSP) for the generation and reception of the SCM signals is described. We show experimentally that the SCM signal with a nearly-optimum number of subcarriers can extend the maximum reach by 23% in a 24 GBaud DP-QPSK transmission with a BER threshold of 3.8 × 10−3 and by 8% in a 24 GBaud DP-16-QAM transmission with a BER threshold of 2 × 10−2. Moreover, we show by simulations that the improved performance of SCM signals is observed over a wide range of baud rates, further indicating the merits of SCM signals in baud-rate flexible agile transmissions and future high-speed optical transport systems.
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