Southern Cross Cables is claiming a successful trial of 40G optical technology that could quadruple the cable's capacity. The trial, using Nortel gear, paves the way for cost-effective upgrades without the expense of laying new cables, Nortel says in a statement released today. The Southern Cross network provides the internet link from Australia, New Zealand and Fiji to the US, as well as linking Hawaii to the US mainland. Last year, Southern Cross used 40G technology from Nortel to boost its US terrestrial network by a factor of four. Nortel says the upgrades allow customers to serve bandwidth-intensive applications such as high-definition video at a lower cost. Following that land-based upgrade, Southern Cross wanted to test the performance of Nortel’s 40G submarine solution. The first trial was conducted over a 4,200km submarine segment between California and Hawaii. The second was over Southern Cross’ longest route, 8000km between Auckland, New Zealand and Hawaii. Nortel equipment was added to both ends of the third-party submarine cable to provide over four times the existing bandwidth. In 2001, Southern Cross had a total capacity of 480Gbit/s. This was upgraded last year to 860Gbit/s.