It is shown by numerical simulations that a significant increase in the spectral density of a 40-Gb/s wavelength-division-multiplexing (WDM) system can be obtained by controlling the phase of adjacent WDM channels. These simulations are confirmed experimentally at 40 Gb/s using a coherent comb source. This technique allows the spectral density of a nonreturn-to-zero
WDMsystem to be increased from 0.4 to 1 b/s/Hz in a single polarization. Optical filter optimization is required to minimize power crosstalk, and appropriate strategies are discussed in this letter.