Leighton firm plans WA, Singapore cable

Summary:Leighton Contractors subsidiary Australia-Singapore Cable (ASC) has announced plans to build a 4800km multi-terabit cable between Perth and Singapore, with the help of Alcatel-Lucent.

Leighton Contractors subsidiary Australia-Singapore Cable (ASC) has announced plans to build a 4800km multi-terabit cable between Perth and Singapore, with the help of Alcatel-Lucent.

The cable route

The cable's route (Credit: Leighton Contractors)

The company has just signed a contract with Alcatel-Lucent for the design, construction and installation of the submarine cable and has begun the first phase of the project, which involves design, route survey and acquiring permissions from Australia, Indonesia and Singapore. It has been planning the project for the last 18 months.

The cable will be laid through the Sunda Strait in Indonesia and will provide around eight times more capacity than similar regional routes, according to the company. Initially, the cable will provide 40Gbps per wavelength transmission, but it had the potential of providing 100Gbps per wavelength transmission and that, as such, it would be the first of its kind from Western Australia to South East Asia, ASC said.

The upgrade will depend on demand and will require putting in new equipment at the ends of the cable, according to Peter McGrath, chairman of ASC (International) and executive general manager of Leighton Telecommunications.

The cable will use D+ fibre, with two fibre pairs providing an ultimate capacity of at least 6Tbps, or over 16Tbps after the upgrade.

"This new cable system will fill the much-needed gap in the marketplace connecting Australia via the Indian Ocean to Singapore and offering a more cost effective, higher capacity and lower latency route than alternative east coast routes," McGrath said.

It will provide a redundant southern route, he said, which many companies wanted, as they could use it to avoid outages. He added that the cable had also been spawned partly because of the resources boom. The company has already received pre-commitment from carriers.

The undersea cable will terminate in Perth at a Metronode datacentre at Senton Park. Traffic will be transported across Leighton subsidiary NextGen Network's network to Sydney.

"Importantly, this will enable end-to-end services from Singapore to Sydney, at 10Gbps, 40Gbps and eventually 100Gbps speeds," he said.

Latency from Perth to Singapore, and Sydney to Singapore, will be 24ms and 48ms respectively, according McGrath.

Topics: Telcos, Government : AU

About

Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at ZDNet.com.au as the site's telecommunications reporter, a role that saw her break some of the biggest stories associated with the National Broadband Network process. She then turned her attention to all matters in government and corporate ICT circles. Now she's taking on the whole gamut as news editor for t... Full Bio

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