Southern Cross adds capacity, enhances packet transport

The operators of the Southern Cross Cable Network say they have added 900 Gbps of capacity to their submarine network. The upgrade raises the undersea fiber-optic network's total network lit capacity to 5.8 Tbps. Meanwhile, the company also has improved its packet transport capabilities to enhance Carrier Ethernet service delivery.

The operators of the Southern Cross Cable Network say they have added 900 Gbps of capacity to their submarine network. The upgrade raises the undersea fiber-optic network's total network lit capacity to 5.8 Tbps. Meanwhile, the company also has improved its packet transport capabilities to enhance Carrier Ethernet service delivery.

Both initiatives benefited Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN), which is the Southern Cross Cable Network's primary optical transport systems supplier. The Ciena 6500 is the workhorse optical platform for the submarine cable network (see, for example, "Southern Cross submarine fiber network jumps to 100G"). However, Ciena also delivered enhanced technology for other systems it has supplied for the network.

"While we have augmented our transmission by 900 Gbps per segment, we have also upgraded our key Ciena 5430 nodes to 15-Tbps OTN switching capability, a first for the region and a world first for a submarine cable operator as far as we are aware," detailed Southern Cross President & CEO Anthony Briscoe. "Southern Cross' key switching nodes are now capable of switching over 100 times Southern Cross' original segment capacity.

"Our latest expansion has also deployed Ciena's 200-Gbps per wavelength technology across our Hawaiian inter-island network in another world-first in technology activation, as well as continuing to leverage Ciena's flexible grid, GeoMesh, and 8D-2QAM technologies to maximize capacity and resiliency within our network while ensuring operational simplicity, scalability, and evolution toward software-defined networking (SDN)," Briscoe added.

Meanwhile, Southern Cross has decided to install the Ciena 8700 Packetwave packet switching platform as well. The systems will help the operator provide MEF CE2.0 compliant Carrier Ethernet packet transport services at data rates from 1 Gbps to 100 Gbps.

"Along with our existing key Internet data center access points such as Equinix in Sydney, CoreSite in San Jose, and the Westin Building in Seattle, these developments cement the Southern Cross position as the only single system provider of highly resilient innovative international capacity solutions between key data locations in Australia, New Zealand, the USA, and Fiji," asserts Southern Cross CTO Dean Veverka.

These recent upgrades, paired with previous enhancements, have extended the network's lifetime to at least 2030 while giving it a potential capacity of 14 Tbps, Southern Cross adds. Further network enhancements are likely, Briscoe indicates.

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