Southern Cross Cable deploys Calient’s photonic switches

Calient Technologies Inc. reports that Southern Cross Cable Networks has selected its FiberConnect 320X photonic switch to enhance resiliency on its submarine cable network. Photonic switching will enable Southern Cross to remotely reconfigure its fiber network in seconds, adding further protection in the event of fiber breaks or repeater/transponder failures, the vendor says.

Jan 17th, 2012

Calient Technologies Inc. reports that Southern Cross Cable Networks has selected its FiberConnect 320X photonic switch to enhance resiliency on its submarine cable network. Photonic switching will enable Southern Cross to remotely reconfigure its fiber network in seconds, adding further protection in the event of fiber breaks or repeater/transponder failures, the vendor says.

The Southern Cross Cable Network is a fully protected fiber-optic cable network linking Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and Hawaii directly to the US West Coast. The network has 28,900 km of submarine and 1,600 km of terrestrial fiber-optic cables in a figure-eight configuration.

Southern Cross says it maintains strict customer commitments on bandwidth delivered over its network. Therefore, it turned to Calient to install FiberConnect 320X photonic switches to provide it with the ability to configure optical connections remotely in the event of multiple failures.

"Even though 90% of capacity on the Southern Cross Cable Network is configured for automatic protection on self-healing rings, there is always a small chance of multiple failures that require redirection of traffic to maintain service," said Fiona Beck, Southern Cross CEO. "Until now this has been a manual intervention that would take time to implement. Because service availability is our top priority, we wanted to take advantage of photonic switching technology to eliminate delays when restoring traffic.

"After reviewing the vendors in the photonic switching space, we came to the conclusion that Calient offered the best port density, price, and overall reputation and as a result we have now acquired and deployed their switches at all 11 sites in our network," Beck added.

Calient’s FiberConnect 320X is based on the company’s patented 3D MEMS technology, which uses a three-dimensional array of silicon micro mirrors to switch light paths. The FiberConnect 320X platform offers what the company claims is the industry’s highest density photonic switch with 640 total fiber terminations (320 transmit ports and 320 receive ports). Targeting mission-critical carrier applications, the FibreConnect 320X has hot swappable power supplies and electronics cards to eliminate a single point of failure.

The contract is the first major deal announced since the company rebranded in 2010 (see "Calient adds 3D MEMS module, ‘white box’ efforts to product offers"). Calient received new funding last October (see "CALIENT Technologies raises $19.4 million for optical switching for enterprise, cloud computing markets").

The announcement was jointly made during the PTC’12 conference in Honolulu, Hawaii, where Calient is a Bronze Sponsor.

More in Network Design