Southern Cross submarine fiber network jumps to 100G

The operators of the Southern Cross Cable Network, which stretches between Australia, New Zealand, and the United States, have completed a system-wide upgrade to 100 Gbps using platforms from Ciena Corp. (NASDAQ: CIEN), the systems house reports.

The operators of the Southern Cross Cable Network, which stretches between Australia, New Zealand, and the United States, have completed a system-wide upgrade to 100 Gbps using platforms from Ciena Corp. (NASDAQ: CIEN), the systems house reports.

The 30,000-km submarine fiber-optic network comprises a pair of cables commissioned in November 2000 and January 2001 at a cost of $1.3 billion. Telecom NZ (50%), Singtel-Optus (40%), and Verizon Business (10%) compose the ownership consortium.

The new 100G capabilities, added to the network’s existing Ciena 6500 Packet Optical Platforms, bring the total lit capacity of the two cables to 2.6 Tbps, according to Southern Cross Sales and Marketing Director Ross Pfeffer. If 100G were fully deployed in all of the network’s fibers and paired with flexible grid capabilities, the total system capacity would rise to 12 Tbps, he added.

The upgraded capabilities will enable the network’s to support recently announced 40-Gbps OTN-based services, as well as planned 40 Gigabit Ethernet and 100 Gigabit Ethernet offerings.

“Retail broadband data caps have expanded dramatically on the back of current international capacity prices in both Australia and New Zealand with demand for capacity continuing to grow at around 35% to 40% annually,” Pfeffer said. “Our deployment of this latest technology places Southern Cross in an even stronger position to stay well ahead of the demand growth resulting from Australia’s NBN (National Broadband Network) and New Zealand’s UFB (Ultra-fast Broadband) initiatives, and the growth associated with cloud services and new content. The longstanding Southern Cross policy of using the latest technology improvements to expand lit capacity and to lower marginal cost will ensure that Southern Cross remains in a position to cost-effectively support demand growth for many years.”

The 100-Gbps capabilities follow two years after Southern Cross upgraded to 40-Gbps wavelengths (see “Ciena supplies 40G coherent for Southern Cross network”).

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