Telstra adds transpacific capacity to subsea cable network

Picks up more capacity on US-Japan routes

Telstra today revealed that it had purchased additional capacity on the New Cross Pacific (NCP) Cable as well as undertaken a “further investment” in the FASTER cable system.

FASTER lands in Japan, Taiwan and the US west coast. NCP connects Japan, the US, Taiwan and China.

The telco didn’t reveal the scope of capacity it has added on the NCP but said it was its “first large capacity purchase” on the system, nor did it outline details of its additional FASTER investment.

Today’s announcements build on a string of recent investments by the telco in subsea cable routes.

In January last year the company revealed it would purchase a half fibre pair on the Hong Kong Americas (HKA) cable, connecting Hong Kong to the US west coast.

Telstra also said it would purchase 6 terabits of capacity on the Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN), which will also connect Hong Kong to the US.

PLCN and HKA are both expected to be completed in 2020.

In December, Telstra said it would acquire a 25 per cent stake in Southern Cross Cable Network (SCCN), with the telco revealing it would purchase “substantial capacity” on the consortium's existing cable network, which links Australia to the US west coast, as well as the new Southern Cross NEXT.

The US$300 million Southern Cross NEXT will connect Sydney, Auckland and Los Angeles and is expected to be completed by the end of 2020. It will offer 72Tb of capacity.

Other SCCN shareholders include Spark New Zealand, Optus’ parent company Singtel and Verizon Business.

Telstra has also invested in a half fibre pair on the INDIGO system. The 36Tb INDIGO system will stretch from Singapore to Perth, and from there to Sydney. INDIGO is currently undergoing testing ahead of being declared ready for service.

Telstra said its investments in SCCN, HKA, PLCN and INDIGO would boost its owned subsea cable capacity by more than 25Tb.

“Capacity demand on our international network has almost doubled over the past two years to over 200Tb, driven by the explosion of cloud computing, video streaming and e-commerce,” Telstra Enterprise group executive Michael Ebeid said in a statement.

“As the Asia Pacific’s economy grows, so do we. We have increased our capacity to meet the growing data requirements of our customers now and into the future with our investments in capacity and path diversity throughout Asia Pacific.

“Increased connectivity is also about helping Telstra’s domestic, international business, international carrier and government customers expand globally, particularly throughout Asia Pacific.”

Telstra in 2015 bought network as a service provider Pacnet. Ebeid said that following the acquisition, the telco had “strategically invested in additional capacity and infrastructure to meet the increasing demand for data right across the Asia Pacific region, carefully mapping our international paths and investment.”

As part of its ‘T22’ strategy, unveiled in June 2018, Telstra’s subsea cable assets have become part of its standalone (but still wholly owned) Telstra InfraCo business.

Brendon Riley was appointed CEO of the new business.

InfraCo includes Telstra’s fixed-network infrastructure, including non-mobile related fibre, as well as exchanges, poles, ducts and pipes. As part of its FY18 results, Telstra released pro forma financials for InfraCo, with the business holding assets worth $11.1 billion and bringing in external income of $5.5 billion.

Telstra subsea cable routesCredit: Telstra
Telstra subsea cable routes

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Tags TelstraNetworkingTelecommunicationssubmarine cablessubsea cableFasterNew Cross Pacific (NCP)

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