Contract awarded to upgrade Southern Cross cable network

New technology will facilitate future upgrades up to 2.4 Tbit/s.

Alcatel-Lucent has inked a new contract to upgrade the landing stations of Southern Cross' 28,900 km submarine cable network.

This new award follows the contract signed in 2001 for the first upgrade of the Southern Cross network that went into service in November 2000, providing Australasia with a fully protected direct link to the US mainland.

The network upgrade will provide further route diversity and capacity in the Australasian region to maximize the benefits of broadband services to both residential and business users.

Alcatel-Lucent will upgrade the network's ten landing stations, which are located close to the major international hubs of Sydney (Australia), Auckland (New Zealand), Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Honolulu (the U.S) for ease of access.

The project will be rolled-out in two phases. The first phase will consist in upgrading the existing 480 Gbit/s capacity up to 660 Gbit/s by the end of the first quarter 2008 and the second phase will bring it up to 860 Gbit/s by the end of 2008.

The high scalability offered by Alcatel-Lucent's optical technology will also facilitate future upgrades up to 2.4 Tbit/s.

Southern Cross marketing director, Ross Pfeffer, said by doubling the existing network capacity, the upgrade project will support the increased traffic generated by the rapid adoption of ADSL2+ services and Ethernet-based applications.

Alcatel-Lucent president of submarine network activity, Jean Godeluck, said both organizations have enjoyed a successful partnership on several projects and its solution for this upgrade will be based on both submarine and terrestrial equipment.

For the submarine section, Alcatel-Lucent will deploy its 1620 Light Manager DWDM submarine line terminal.

The landing stations will also be upgraded with the Alcatel-Lucent 1675 LambdaUnite Multi-Service Switch (MSS), offering advanced dynamic networking based on Automatically Switched Optical Network (ASON)/Generalized Multi-Protocol Label Switching (GMPLS) intelligent control plane for improvement of network availability, strengthening of traffic protection and enabling accelerated optical connection provisioning.

Southern Cross Cable Network provides the fastest, most direct, and most secure international bandwidth from Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii to the heart of the Internet in the US. It has been engineered until 2025 and can easily expand to 2.4Tbps of transmission capability. With new technology the network is likely to exceed this capability.

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