Chinese telcos plan Australia to NZ cable

Summary:Two Chinese telecommunications giants have reportedly teamed up to build a new subsea cable between Australia and New Zealand, estimated to be worth US$100 million.

update Two Chinese telecommunications giants have reportedly teamed up to build a new subsea cable between Australia and New Zealand, estimated to be worth US$100 million.

Axin, the Australasian agent and representative of China Communications Service Corp, wants to build a 2300km cable between Auckland and Sydney, and has tapped Huawei Marine Networks Co to help build the link.

The direct link between the two countries would mean that companies seeking to only transfer information between the two countries would not have to share capacity on international subsea cables that redirect overseas, such as the Southern Cross cable or the planned Pacific Fibre cable that both iiNet and Vodafone NZ plan to use for international traffic.

Its capacity will probably be smaller than the existing Southern Cross Cable and the prospective Pacific Fibre cable.

Huawei Marine market director, Salon Ma, said that the project is expected to be completed in early 2013, beating out newcomer Pacific Fibre, and will adopt 40 gigabits per second equipment to achieve 3.2 terabits per second per fibre pair.

That will bring it in line with Southern Cross Cable's existing technology, which is planned to be upgraded to 40Gbps next year.

Southern Cross will further improve its system to 100Gbps equipment by 2015, taking the network potential to 6Tbps.

The start date will get a jump on Pacific Fibre, which is expected to start in 2014.

The New Zealand venture, which is backed by heavyweight entrepreneurs Sam Morgan, Stephen Tindall, Rod Drury and Peter Thiel, appointed America's TE Connectivity to build the trans-Pacific network, which had previously been given a $486 million price tag.

Pacific Fibre said its network will have ultimate capacity of 12.8Tbps.

Updated at 9:57am, 21 September 2011: added extra detail about the announcement.

Topics: Telcos

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Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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