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We propose a fiber dispersion management scheme for large-capacity long-haul wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) transmission systems that considers not only second- but also third-order dispersion characteristics using transmission fibers with opposite dispersion signs. It eliminates the waveform distortion of WDM signals that originates from the existence of third-order dispersion, which is a constraint placed on WDM capacity in conventional dispersion management, while reducing the interchannel interaction caused by the interplay of fiber nonlinearity and second-order dispersion. Design concept of the scheme is discussed to show the feasibility of using actual fiber parameters. An experimental investigation on transmission performance regarding the signal pulse format, nonreturn-to-zero (NRZ) and return-to-zero (RZ), and interchannel interaction caused by four-wave mixing (FWM) and cross-phase modulation (XPM) is described for optimizing WDM system performance. It is experimentally shown that RZ pulse transmission is possible without significant spectral broadening over a wide wavelength range in dispersion managed fiber spans. Using these results together with a wideband optical amplifier gain-bandwidth management technique, yields long-distance WDM transmission with the capacity of 25/spl times/10 Gb/s over 9288 km.