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General guidelines for high-speed time-division multiplexing (TDM) data-rate transmission are essential for the increase of the overall transmission capacity. In this paper, general theoretical investigations concerning fiber chromatic dispersion in optical TDM systems are performed. Recent experiments that confirm the theoretical predictions are presented. Nonzero dispersion-shifted fiber and standard single-mode fiber are recommended for 40 and 160 Gb/s, respectively, independent of the chromatic dispersion compensation scheme.