ASC International and Alcatel-Lucent partner on 4,800-km submarine cable system

Alcatel-Lucent and Australia-Singapore Cable International Limited, sponsored by Leighton Contractors Telecommunications, have signed a contract, worth several million US dollars, to build a 4,800-km, multi-terabit submarine cable system with an option for 100 Gigabit per second (100G) transmission.

Alcatel-Lucent and Australia-Singapore Cable International Limited, sponsored by Leighton Contractors Telecommunications, have signed a contract, worth several million US dollars, to build a 4,800-km, multi-terabit submarine cable system with an option for 100 Gigabit per second (100G) transmission.

The new system will link Perth, Australia, to Singapore, and provide the first open-access, high-speed connection from Western Australia to South East Asia.

Commercial operation of the network is planned to start in 2013. It is expected to enhance the reach and capacity of ASC International’s service offering to meet its customers’ bandwidth demands for high-performance data networking services, while supporting traffic growth driven by smartphones and cloud computing applications. Providing roughly eight times more capacity than similar regional routes, this new submarine cable system will fill a gap in the marketplace connecting Australia to Asia.

The system design has an ultimate capacity of at least 6 terabits per second (Tbps) and, potentially, more than 16 Tbps with the 100G option. From Perth, traffic will be transported across terrestrial infrastructure to provide competitive wholesale backbone services in Australia. ASC International will potentially deliver the first end-to-end submarine and terrestrial infrastructure capable of supporting 100G speeds with end-to-end services from Singapore to Sydney, says a spokesperson.

“This is a landmark project as it represents our first investment in a submarine cable network. This system will enable us to significantly increase our overall network footprint and service offering,” notes Peter McGrath, chairman, ASC International and executive general manager, Leighton Contractors Telecommunications division.

“Today, 40G is increasingly a key requirement to manage traffic growth and meet multi-terabit capacity demands. 100G technology for submarine links is the next step to meet future bandwidth demand and match high-sped interconnection requirements with terrestrial networks,” explains Philippe Dumont, president of Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks SAS. “Alcatel-Lucent is committed to help ASC International enhance its existing infrastructure by providing a significant communication link in the Indian Ocean.”

Delivered on a turnkey basis, the system will integrate Alcatel-Lucent cable, repeaters, branching units, power feeding equipment, and the 1620 Light Manager (LM) submarine line terminal, initially equipped with advanced coherent 40G technology. Also, the Alcatel-Lucent 1620 LM is designed to accommodate 40G and 100G wavelengths in the same platform, enabling seamless capacity upgrade without traffic interruption.

This project further strengthens the Alcatel-Lucent position in Australia, which builds on several terrestrial and submarine projects rolled out with major operators. The Alcatel-Lucent 1620 Light Manager (LM) submarine line terminal supports a phase shift keying (PSK)-based modulation with additional performance enhancements provided by advanced signal processing. Signal processing associated with coherent technology will allow operators to deal with transmission impairments in a cost-effective and automated manner, and also allow performance tuning through the life of the system.

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