Telcos join forces for new trans-Tasman cable

Telcos join forces for new trans-Tasman cable

Summary: Telecom NZ, Vodafone NZ, and Telstra are spending a total of US$60 million to build a submarine cable between Auckland and Sydney.


Telecom NZ, Vodafone NZ, and Telstra have teamed up to co-invest in a new underwater cable between Auckland and Sydney.

Plans for the TGA cable (Image: Telecom NZ)

All parties have signed a memorandum of understanding, and have named the new cable Tasman Global Access (TGA) for the time being.

"[TGA] will significantly improve New Zealand's international telecommunications connectivity, as well as strengthen links into fast-growing Asian markets," Telecom NZ said in a statement.

The construction of the TGA cable is expected to cost less than US$60 million, much cheaper than what it would have cost to build another, longer trans-Pacific cable. The US$400 million Pacific Fibre project was axed last year after failure to secure funding.

The TGA cable is set to be completed by mid to late 2014.

The cable will include three fibre pairs with a design capacity of 30 terabits per second, which is approximately 300 times the current internet data demand out of New Zealand, according to Telecom NZ.

Traffic between Australia and New Zealand has grown significantly in the past decade, and the TGA cable will make New Zealand a more attractive place for international data servers to be located.

"The TGA cable will also enable New Zealand to better leverage the four additional international cable systems currently serving Australia (with several more proposed or in development), providing important redundancy to New Zealand," Telecom NZ chief executive Simon Moutter and Vodafone NZ CEO Russell Stanners said in a joint statement.

According to Telstra Global managing director Martijn Blanken, the TGA cable will give greater resilience and redundancies for carriers as well as enterprises in Australia that want to have a strong data connection with New Zealand.

Topics: Telcos, Networking, Australia

Spandas Lui

About Spandas Lui

Spandas forayed into tech journalism in 2009 as a fresh university graduate spurring her passion for all things tech. Based in Australia, Spandas covers enterprise and business IT.

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  • A submarine cable ?

    Can't their submarines navigate between their two countries without a guide wire? Or are they just pulling the submarimes back and forth to save fuel?
    William Farrel
    • Re: Can't their submarines navigate between their two countries without a g

      Didn't you know that's how submarines work? They don't have windows, they have to go by feel. Basically, submarines can't work without submarine cables to guide them.

      Interesting factoid: submarine cables are called that because the first ones were laid by submarines. It was only later that they figured out how to lay them from surface ships.