Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) has won the contract to supply the US$350 million Southern Cross NEXT submarine cable, scheduled for completion in 2021 that will connect Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Tokelau, Kiribati and the United States.
Southern Cross says Next will add 72 terabits per second of capacity to the 20 terabits of potential capacity on current Southern Cross systems.
It will be a four pair system with branching units and optical add drop multiplexing technology for connections to Fiji, Tokelau and Kiribati.
The founding shareholders Spark New Zealand, Singtel and Verizon Business were joined in December by Telstra, which took a 25 percent stake.
"Southern Cross NEXT will be the largest capacity, lowest latency link between the US West coast and Sydney and Auckland, providing Australia and New Zealand, the largest capacity markets in the South Pacific region, with a powerful solution," the company said.
Southern Cross said Next would also add key interconnecting infrastructure for the South Pacific, providing "a reliable direct information pipeline to connect those participating nations – Fiji, Tokelau and Kiribati – to the world, and greater options to the existing cables from Vanuatu, Samoa and Tonga connecting to Southern Cross today in Fiji."
ASN will supply its WSS reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexer underwater repeaters that, Southern Cross says, will ensure the cable is compatible with future generations of submarine line terminal equipped with probabilistic shaping technology.