We describe the fiber structural dependence of guided acoustic-wave Brillouin scattering (GAWBS) phase noise in a digital coherent optical fiber transmission. We present theoretical and experimental analyses of GAWBS phase noise spectra in three types of optical fibers and show that the GAWBS resonant modes are distributed over a wider bandwidth as the effective core area of the fiber becomes smaller. We also use a vector signal analysis to show phase fluctuations caused by GAWBS. On the basis of these analyses, we show that the GAWBS phase noise fluctuation has a Gaussian distribution, which is used to evaluate its influence on the BER characteristics in a coherent QAM transmission. As a result, we found that the error-free transmission distance in SSMF is limited to 4600, 1200, and 340 km with 64, 256, and 1024 QAM, respectively, assuming a hard-decision FEC with a 7% overhead. These results provide useful insights into the influence of GAWBS on digital coherent transmission.
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