As data rates in individual channels increase in optical communication systems, the nonlinear effects in optical fibers become increasingly important. Initially soliton in optical fibers were suggested as a pulse format to achieve a natural balance between the optical nonlinearity and fiber dispersion, however, at the cost of system complexity. Dramatic progress in NRZ-type formats using dispersion- management have led to impressive increases in channel bit- rates over very long distances. Recently a new data propagation format, called dispersion-managed solitons, has emerged that combines the best of both worlds. This new pulse format eliminates the need for in-line controls that are required for standard solitons thus making them more attractive for use in terrestrial and undersea optical communication systems. Currently, for single channel data rates at 10 Gbits/sec to 40 Gbit/sec the dispersion-managed soliton can reach much longer distances than NRZ-style formats. Dispersion maps, pulse dynamics, amplified spontaneous emission, timing jitter, and bit-error rate measurements are all key elements in understanding and characterizing dispersion-managed soliton communication systems.