Southern Cross takes NEXT steps for A/NZ-US cable

The US$300 million Southern Cross NEXT cable has been given the regulatory green light to begin construction, with Telstra also receiving the go ahead in its bid to take a 25 percent stake in the company.

The 13,483km cable, due for completion in January 2022 and connecting Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Tokelau, Kiribati and the US, is designed to carry 72 terabits per second, providing what Southern Cross says will be the lowest latency pathway from Australia and New Zealand to the US.

The cable adds to the existing 20Tbps of capacity on the current Southern Cross systems.

Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) has been contracted to build the cable which is based on an Open Cable architecture, with a Contract in Force now granted.

Laurie Miller, Southern Cross president and CEO, says the new route will provide further resilience and connectivity options between Australia, New Zealand and the United States. It will also provide a key interconnecting infrastructure for the South Pacific, providing FijiA, Tokelau and Kiribati with a direct pipeline, and offering greater options for Vanuatu, Samoa and Tonga.

Telstra joins Spark New Zealand, Singtel and Verizon as shareholders and will be an anchor customer of the NEXT cable. It’s shareholding sees Spark’s shareholding drop from 50 percent to 37.5 percent.

Michael Ebeid, Telstra enterprise group executive, says the cable will benefit customers from enterprise to wholesale and consumer.

“With 80 percent of all the internet traffic to Australia coming from the US, a high speed, low latency direct route to North America is a very important investment for our business and our customers,” Edeid says.

“Southern Cross builds on our existing footprint across Asia Pacific where we carry 30 percent of the region’s active capacity.”

Spark told the NZX it expects to contribute between $70 million and $90 million of equity across FY20-22

A marine survey was completed in 2017, with Sydney BMH and bore landing facilities completed in 2018 along with landing arrangements in Los Angeles and Auckland.

The system was initially expected to go live in the second half of 2021.

In May, the 36Tbps Indigo subsea cable, connecting Sydney and Perth with Jakarta and Singapore was lit up. That cable is a partnership between Google, Telstra, Singtel, AARnet, Indosat and SubPartners.

Hawaiki unveils new 3D learning platform in American Samoa

American Samoan learning institution ASCC has switched on a new digital platform, running on Hawaiki’s trans-Pacific submarine cable, that will stream 3D holograms of academics delivering classes remotely and allow them to interact with students in real-time.

The collaboration, which includes technology and education partners such as Hawaiki Submarine Cable (Hawaiki), American Samoa Telecommunications Authority (ASTCA), American Samoa Community College (ASCC), University of Hawaii (UH) and ARHT Media, will enable holograms of UH lecturers based in Honolulu to be beamed live into ASCC classrooms in Pago Pago in American Samoa.

HoloCampus is a culmination of the vision and hard work of many people inspired by the challenge of harnessing technology to provide American Samoa’s young people with access to the best opportunities for advancing their education, and creating a better future for them and their communities.” said Governor Lolo M. Moliga.

The partnership between Hawaiki and American Samoa has delivered on its promises to bridge the digital divide in our Territory. Having ready access to high speed internet is already helping high school and college students with their learning, but the ability to have academics from around the world literally beamed into ASCC classrooms offers an exciting glimpse into what education and learning will look like in the future.”

ASCC president, Dr. Rosevonne Makaiwi Pato noted that HoloCampus will also spur new opportunities for American Samoa to more effectively share knowledge and insights from the US territory with University of Hawaii students and academics, and potentially more academic institutions in the region and throughout the world as the technology is deployed more widely.

“This technology has the potential to completely reshape how we in American Samoa – especially our young students – interact with and share perspectives and experiences with other students, teachers and schools throughout the region and the world,” Makaiwi Pato added.

FireShot Capture 062 - Project HoloCampus Media Assets - Google Drive -

The college and University of Hawaii are working together to create specific course programs running on HoloCampus, which could lead to students in American Samoa being able to earn credits and grades towards UH degrees, with UH academics and students benefiting from greater access to the college and its teachers, learning and resources.

Hawaiki Submarine Cable, which has its headquarters in Auckland, New Zealand, owns and operates the carrier-neutral sub cable system linking Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and the US west coast. 

The launch of HoloCampus comes just 13 months after the Hawaiki cable went live in American Samoa, with the firm noting “a dramatic increase in connectivity on the US territory.”

“Deployment of the Hawaiki Cable in July 2018 has provided the businesses, communities and people of American Samoa with previously undreamt-of connectivity, speeds and reliability,” said Lewis Wolman, CEO of ASTCA. “Today’s launch of HoloCampus is a great example of the sorts of applications we’re now capable of delivering, to drive improvements in everything from education, to healthcare, government services, business, and academic research collaboration.”

H2 Cable, SubCom announce first sub cable linking Australia and Hong Kong

New deep sea cable entrant H2 Cable and marine telco infrastructure specialist SubCom have inked the supply and installation contract of the H2 submarine cable system, the first to connect Australia and Hong Kong with direct access to China.

“H2 will bring the necessary boost in connectivity to Australia, which has one of the fastest-growing international traffic stream in the world,” said H2 CEO Georges Krebs.

H2 Cable, headquartered in Singapore, is the owner and developer of the H2 submarine cable system, connecting Australia to Hong-Kong (North segment) and the US (East segment).

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“Growing capacity requirements and new traffic patterns emerging within the Asia-Pacific region require the deployment of innovative and versatile submarine infrastructures,” added H2 Chairman Remi Galasso. “The H2 cable, with its North and East segments, has been designed to deliver direct connectivity through new subsea paths and provide optimal diversity.”

According to H2 Cable, the submarine cable system will chart new and direct routes throughout the Pacific Region. The cable is designed to support branching units linking Taiwan, Papua New Guinea, The Solomon Islands, Guam, Queensland, Hawaii and Los Angeles.

download (4)“H2 Cable will deliver the best latency from Australia across the Pacific Ocean, with the Sydney to Hong Kong branch carrying 15 Tbps per fiber pair and the Sydney to Los Angeles branch carrying more than 12.9 Tbps per fiber pair,” the firm said.

“The cable has a single-end power feeding capability of more than 13,000 km. The branch between Sydney and Los Angeles will follow an entirely diverse route to the north of New Caledonia, which has not been used by any other cable.”



Southern Cross, Alcatel Submarine Networks ink NEXT supply contract

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.”








Seaborn Networks has established an interconnection to datacenter neutral internet exhange specialist DE-CIX New York, enabling turn-key direct access to some 200 US networks for its South American customers using its Seabras-1 low latency submarine cable system between Brazil and the US.

In addition, Seaborn said the move allowed customers on Seabras-1 to gain access to DE-CIX Frankfurt via its GlobePEER Remote service. GlobePEER Remote provides VLAN connectivity from DE-CIX New York enabling companies to peer with networks connected to DE-CIX Frankfurt and Marseille as well as Hamburg, Munich, Dusseldorf and Istanbul reaching more than 1,000 European-Asian-African networks.

“This partnership with DE-CIX provides Brazil’s IP networks with one-stop-shop, remote IPX access to DE-CIX’s most compelling interconnect locations, leveraging the scale and agility of Seaborn’s Seabras-1 system,” said SEABORN CEO Larry Schwartz.  “In this new arrangement, Seaborn is pleased to continue supporting the global expansion initiatives of Brazil’s ISP community.”

Seaborn said Seabras-1 was built to avoid ‘hurricane alley’ which means the delivery is less vulnerable to disruption from hurricanes and other disruptions. “100% Brazilian underground backhaul means a more resilient more reliable delivery of service with fewer outages,” it added.

“This inter-connection means a significant lower latency to and from Brazil for all DE-CIX customers (850+ ISPs) and for Seaborn’s new and existing Brazil customers wanting to send traffic to the USA and potentially onwards via DE-CIX exchanges to Europe,” a Seaborn Networks spokesperson told Telecom Times.

“DE-CIX is the largest exchange point worldwide with 11 exchange points. This means lower charges to the Brazilian market for transport costs to any DE-CIX customer globally versus having to go off net,” the spokesperson added. “DE-CIX customers will benefit from having their data travel on a system that is owned and operated independently by Seaborn. This means not subject to consortium or big OTT system pricing and service.”



NEC Corporation has won a contract with Okinawa Cellular Telephone Company to design, engineer, supply, install, test and implement an optical submarine cable system connecting Okinawa Prefecture and Kagoshima Prefecture in Japan.

Under the agreement, NEC will provide the optical submarine cable system as a turnkey service, with the cable system scheduled to start operation in April 2020.

This cable system is connected to Nago City, Okinawa Prefecture, and Hioki City, Kagoshima Prefecture, with a total length of approximately 760 km and a maximum depth of approximately 1,200 m. NEC said it employs the latest optical wavelength multiplex transmission method, adding that the maximum design transmission capacity is 80 Tbps per second.

“By connecting the cable between Okinawa and Kagoshima via a different route from the existing cable, this cable can secure a backup line in the event of a large-scale disaster or other emergency. In addition, this cable system will respond to the demand for communications between the Okinawa, Kyushu and Honshu regions of Japan, which is expected to continue growing in the future due to the construction of data centers in Okinawa and the launch of 5G services,” said NEC.


Google has selected Equinix for its Los Angeles cable landing station (CLS) supporting the Curie subsea cable system, the first subsea cable to Chile in the last 20 years, which is slated to go live in 2019.

The Curie subsea cable system will land directly at the Equinix LA4 International Business Exchange data center located in El Segundo, Calififornia.

Equinix said TeleGeography reported that in early 2018, there were approximately 448 submarine cables (an estimated 1.2 million kilometers) in service worldwide.


“And the growth of subsea cable systems continues unabated as content providers, public clouds and the Internet of Things keep pumping out massive amounts of data,” it added. “TeleGeography projects that operators could invest an additional $8.8 billion in new cables between 2018 and 2020 to keep up with the demand.”

In addition, Equinix said that along with this high growth, the makeup of subsea cable traffic is evolving with more than two-thirds of the subsea fiber cable bandwidth capacity growth comes from hyperscalers and content providers such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon.


“Equinix has played a large part in developing the next generation of submarine system landing station infrastructures to accommodate this shift by placing cable landing stations in its global data center,” the firm added. “Currently, Equinix IBX data centers are subsea cable enabled in 34 metros around the world.”