We report the impact of cascaded reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexer induced penalties on coherently-detected 28 Gbaud polarization multiplexed m-ary quadrature amplitude modulation (PM m-ary QAM) WDM channels. We investigate the interplay between different higher-order modulation channels and the effect of filter shapes and bandwidth of (de)multiplexers on the transmission performance, in a segment of pan-European optical network with a maximum optical path of 4,560 km (80km x 57 spans). We verify that if the link capacities are assigned assuming that digital back propagation is available, 25% of the network connections fail using electronic dispersion compensation alone. However, majority of such links can indeed be restored by employing single-channel digital back-propagation employing less than 15 steps for the whole link, facilitating practical application of DBP. We report that higher-order channels are most sensitive to nonlinear fiber impairments and filtering effects, however these formats are less prone to ROADM induced penalties due to the reduced maximum number of hops. Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that a minimum filter Gaussian order of 3 and bandwidth of 35 GHz enable negligible excess penalty for any modulation order.
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