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A long-wavelength-band erbium-doped fiber amplifier (L-band EDFA) using a pump wavelength source of 1540-nm band has been extensively investigated from a small single channel input signal to high-power wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) signals. The small-signal gain coefficient of 1545-nm pumping among the 1540-nm band is 2.25 times higher compared to the conventional 1480-nm pumping. This improvement in gain coefficient is not limited by the pumping direction. The cause for this high coefficient is explained by analyzing forward- and backward-amplified spontaneous emission spectra. The gain spectra as a function of a pump wavelength suggest that a broadband pump source as well as a single wavelength pump can be used as a 1540-nm-band pump. In the experiment for high-power WDM signals, the power conversion efficiency for 256 WDM channel input is 48.5% with 1545-nm pumping. This result shows more than 20% improvement compared with the previous highest value for the L-band EDFA. Finally, the 1545-nm bidirectionally pumped EDFA is applied as a second stage amplifier in an in-line amplifier of an optical communication link with a 1480-nm pumped first stage EDFA, in which the input power of the second-stage EDFA is +2.2 dBm. The power conversion efficiency yields a 38% improvement without noise figure degradation compared with the case of 1480-nm pumping.