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The key results obtained from experimental systems studies over monomode fiber and cable links are given for both direct detection and coherent optical systems. Direct detection techniques have been studied at 1300 nm using conventional lasers and at 1500 nm with narrow line transmitters of the injection-locked and external cavity types. In the case of coherent optical systems, developments of the same transmitters have been used in conjunction with amplitude and phase shift key (PSK) modulation techniques to obtain improved performance. Increases in receiver sensitivity of up to 14 and 17 dB have been obtained using, respectively, heterodyne and homodyne detection techniques. These results approach theoretical predictions and offer the possibility of much greater transmission capacity and extended regenerator spacings for monomode systems.