Hibernia Express transatlantic submarine cable network ready for service

As promised, Hibernia Networks says its Hibernia Express transatlantic submarine cable network is ready for service. The company already has customers for 4,600-km submarine network, which links Halifax, Nova Scotia to Slough, UK (landing at Brean Sands), and Cork, Ireland.

As promised, Hibernia Networks says its Hibernia Express transatlantic submarine cable network is ready for service. The company already has customers for 4,600-km submarine network, which links Halifax, Nova Scotia to Slough, UK (landing at Brean Sands), and Cork, Ireland.

Hibernia Networks CEO Bjarni Thorvardarson emphasized the system's high capacity and low latency in a press conference to mark the milestone. The six-pair system will support more than 53 Tbps of traffic, Thorvardarson said. Most of the links will support 100-Gbps wavelengths initially, although 200 Gbps will be available between the UK and Ireland. The system is architected to support 400 Gbps when the technology is available.

Meanwhile, the company quotes round-trip latency of 59 ms between the NY4 facility in Secaucus, NJ, and the LD4 exchange in Slough. Tests to confirm that latency figure are being conducted over the next four days, the press was told; a Hibernia source expressed confidence on the call that the actual latency would be better than this figure. Following the Great Circle Route for the most direct path between the two continents played a role in the low latency figure, Thorvardarson said.

To support both high capacity and low latency, the undersea cable network uses different fiber types from Corning. Corning EX2000 fiber is used for ultra-low-latency applications on one fiber pair; another fiber that with very large effective area is used on another for maximum capacity support.

The network provides onward connectivity to major financial and peering centers in both North America and Europe. Hibernia Networks expects to market its services to four main customer segments: financial, media/broadcasting, "web-centrics," and service providers. Thorvardarson said the company has been selling capacity as construction has progressed. Both Microsoft and Zayo are among the customers who have signed on (see "Microsoft invests in transatlantic submarine network capacity" and "Hibernia adds Zayo to Express submarine network customer list").

Hibernia Networks announced its intention to build Hibernia Express in 2010, with Huawei as its main technology and deployment services provider (see "Hibernia Atlantic plans low-latency transatlantic submarine cable from New York to London" and "Huawei Marine to build Hibernia Altantic’s Project Express"), with a ready for service date of Summer 2013. However, security concerns from potential customers (particularly in North America) about the use of Huawei technology led Hibernia to drop Huawei in favor of TE Subcom. The network now uses TE Subcom's repeaters and C100 submarine line terminal equipment (SLTE).

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