Norway's NSC links North Sea fiber-optic networks

November 14, 2005 Oslo, Norway -- North Sea Communications (NSC), an independent telecom operator in the North Sea region and a subsidiary of TeliaSonera, announced that has made interconnection agreements with both TampNett AS and Central North Sea Fibre Telecommunications Company Ltd. (CNSFTC), thereby linking all of these companies' fiber-optic networks in the North Sea.

Nov 14th, 2005

November 14, 2005 Oslo, Norway -- North Sea Communications (NSC), an independent telecom operator in the North Sea region and a subsidiary of TeliaSonera, announced that has made interconnection agreements with both TampNett AS and Central North Sea Fibre Telecommunications Company Ltd. (CNSFTC), thereby linking all of these companies' fiber-optic networks in the North Sea.

According to a press release, telecom traffic is already flowing from TampNett via NSC and CNSFTC to Aberdeen; NSC is also establishing a new node in Houston to serve the oil and gas industry.

Since the late 1990s, NSC, TampNett (a subsidiary of Statoil), and CNSFTC, (a subsidiary of BP UK), have each had fiber-optic networks installed in the North Sea. NSC says that more than 1 billion NOK has been invested in the three networks, which are now capable of serving cross-border customers, according to the operator.

According to the release, NSC has its main link between Stavanger and London, via oil platforms located in fields at Draupner, Ula, Ekofisk, Valhall, and Murdoch. TampNett connects Kollsnes on the Norwegian mainland, with the oil fields of Troll, Kvitebjorn, Gullfaks, and Snorre, and southward to the oil fields of Oseberg, Heimdal, Grane, Sleipner, and Draupner. CNSFTC links Aberdeen, Cruden Bay, Forties, and Everest with the Ula platform.

NSC now connects the networks through its nodes at Draupner and Ula; the interconnection agreements with the other optical cable owners enables traffic flow among all nodes in the networks, says the operator. According to the operator, the arrangement allows for direct, low-latency communications among offshore facilities and on-shore offices and operation centers, independent of country.

The operator contends that optical communications is of increasing importance for the offshore operations; now, the numerous installations can receive end-to-end communications services from a single telecom operator. According to the release, the first user to benefit from the linked networks, a major U.S. oil company, enters TampNett via a microwave system. NSC the takes the traffic from Draupner to Ula in its network and then uses the CNSFTC network to terminate the traffic in Aberdeen.

"The integrated optical networks in the North Sea will be useful for companies operating in several countries and locations, requiring real-time data transmission with low latency over secure networks," comments Harald Nordstrand, MD of North Sea Communications. "That's why we are also establishing a PoP node in Houston, using TeliaSonera International Carrier's own optical network from our own node in London."

NSC says that many oil platforms in the North Sea can be linked to the existing optical networks by microwave radio or new optical submarine cables. The operator says it will soon present new technology for laying thin fiber-optic cable runs between platforms, which it expects will lead to significant reduction in investment for new access lines. NSC says it has measured the latency in its Stavanger-Aberdeen circuit to be less than 4.3 milliseconds, which the operator says far outperforms any land-based link between Norway and the UK.


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