Havhingsten submarine cable system construction completed

March 28, 2022
Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) built the undersea network, which aims to provide a diverse route and the lowest latency between Ireland, the UK, and the Nordics.

Submarine and terrestrial fiber network services providers Aqua Comms and Bulk Fiber Networks, alongside partner Meta, have announced their Havhingsten submarine cable system has completed construction. Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) built the undersea network, which aims to provide a diverse route and the lowest latency between Ireland, the UK, and the Nordics.

According to Meta, the Havhingsten submarine cable route crosses the Irish Sea from north of Dublin, Ireland to south of Blackpool on the west coast of the UK. A section also links to the Isle of Man and from Seaton Sluice in Northumberland to Denmark. End-to-end, the fiber system combines an unrepeatered subsea segment in the Irish Sea, a terrestrial segment in the UK, and a repeatered segment in the North Sea. The route offers an alternative to existing crossings of the English Channel as well as the lowest latency available between Dublin and the Nordic region, the partners assert.

The Havhingsten submarine cable is the first to be powered via aluminum conductor technology, the companies add. Aluminum offers a much lower cable conductor voltage drop than copper, which ultimately enables a higher number of fiber pairs per cable. Replacing copper with aluminum also improves system efficiency and lowers cost, the companies add. The use of aluminum also reduces cable weight, which enables more cable to be loaded onto an installation vessel; it also offers improved resistance to hydrogen penetration, the partners say. ASN and Meta (then Facebook) announced development work on the technology in 2019 (see "Alcatel Submarine Networks pairs with Facebook on aluminium conductor submarine network cables").

The deployment leveraged a jet-assisted burial plow in both the North and Irish Sea segments as well.

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