Southern Cross NEXT Project to be completed in 2021 and will connect Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Tokelau, Kiribati and the US
Southern Cross Cable Limited (SX) and Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) have signed a contract for ASN to supply the Southern Cross NEXT submarine cable, based on an Open Cable architecture.
Subject to financial closure, the contract execution ensures the manufacturing and construction phase will commence.
The US$350 million Southern Cross NEXT project will provide an additional 72 terabits per second of capacity for Southern Cross customers, adding to the existing 20 terabits of capacity potential of the current Southern Cross systems.
Southern Cross NEXT is tipped to become the largest capacity, lowest latency link between the U.S. West coast and Sydney and Auckland.
It will also provide key interconnecting infrastructure for the South Pacific, providing a reliable direct information pipeline to connect those participating nations – Fiji, Tokelau and Kiribati – to the world, and greater options to the existing cables from Vanuatu, Samoa and Tonga connecting to Southern Cross today in Fiji.
Leveraging ASN’s state-of-the-art subsea technology, the service is designed to provide enhanced reliability and network efficiency, as well as providing the lowest latency connection between major data centres in Sydney or Auckland and Los Angeles.
It includes ASN’s submarine WSS ROADM repeaters, enabling some 72 terabits per second transmission capacity. The Open Cable system is also designed to be compatible with future generations of submarine line terminal equipped with Probabilistic Shaping technology.
“Since the initial phases in 2016, interest in the project has grown significantly,” said Laurie Miller, President and CEO of Southern Cross Cables. “The Southern Cross team has worked tirelessly alongside ASN to design a high capacity system on the optimum marine route between Sydney and Los Angeles, and this contract shows that the hard work has paid off.”
“A number of critical milestones have already been achieved prior to contract signing, with the Marine Survey completed in 2017, the completion of the Sydney BMH and bore landing facilities in 2018, along with landing arrangements in Los Angeles, and Auckland,” said Miller. “These milestones and the efforts of the SX and ASN teams have us on track to target completion of the system in the second half of 2021.”