Subsea Cables in/across South Pacific

 

There are now the following subsea cable systems in or acroos South Pacific, connecting Asia, Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific Islands, and the United States.

AAG

Hawaiki Cable

SEA-US

Southern Cross Cable Network (SCCN)

Telstra Endeavour

Southern Cross Next (under construction)

SxS 

ASH Cable

HK-G

Honotua

KSCN

Manatua

Optikor Network

Palau-Guam

PPC-1 (PIPE Pacific Cable 1)

TGA (Tasman Global Access ) 

The PPC-1 (PIPE Pacific Cable 1) submarine cable system consists of two segments of digital fiber-optic cable: (1) the Australia-Guam Trunk, connecting Sydney, Australia with Piti, Guam; and (2) the PNG Spur, connecting Madang, Papua New Guinea with a branching unit located on the Australia-Guam Trunk. The Australia-Guam Trunk of the PPC-1 cable system consists of two optical fiber pairs, with a design capacity of 96 wavelengths (10 Gbps) on each fiber pair, for a total design capacity of 1.92 Tbps. The initial configuration of the Australia-Guam Trunk provides a total of 140 Gbps of capacity. The initial configuration of the PNG Spur provides a total of 20 Gbps of capacity, 10 Gbps on the Papua New Guinea-Guam route and 10 Gbps on the Papua New Guinea-Australia route.

The PPC-1 cable project was lunched on January 14, 2008. On September 22, 2009, Internode released a press release claiming successful transmission of IP packets across the PPC-1 cable, making it the first commercial entity to make use of the PPC-1 cable. The PPC-1 cable project was formally completed on October 8, 2009.

 

The Pacific Fibre cable is a new 12,750km (7,920 miles) trans-pacific subsea fiber optic cable linking Australia, New Zealand and the US, with cable landing stations in Sydney, Auckland and Los Angeles. The Pacific Fibre cable system consists of two fiber pairs, with 128 wavelengths per fibre pair. By using the latest 40 Gbps per wavelength technology, the Pacific Fibre is expected to have a capacity of up to 5.12 Tbps, and will be further upgradeable to beyond 12 Tbps with future 100 Gbps per wavelength technology.

The Pacific Fibre is the second international submarine cable system landing in New Zealand, with significant improvement to the international network resilience in New Zealand.

The Pacific Fibre is expected to be ready for service in 2014.

Unfortunately, the Pacific Fibre has ceased operation as at 1 August 2012, citing an inability to raise enough investment to fund the cable build.

Optikor Network is a new trans-Tasman submarine cable system connecting Sydney, Australia with South Island and North Island, New Zealandlink, with a cable length of more than 3000 km. The trans-Tasman Optikor Network is designed to provide initially a capacity of 120 Gbps with 1 fiber pair, and eventually 6.4 Tbps with 2 fibre pairs.

Axin Limited initiated the trans-Tasman Optikor Network in September 2011. Axin Limited, founded in 2010, is fully invested by the Sino Telecommunication, and plays major role in the national broad band project of New Zealand.

The trans-Tasman Optikor Network is expected to be ready for service by the end of 2013.

This  trans-Tasman Optikor Network will address the large capacity requirements in the Tasman region and bring competition to the capacity markets in Australia and New Zealand where are now dominated by the Southern Cross Cable Network and the undergoing Pacific Fibre.

Tasman Global Access (TGA) is submarine cable system designed to significantly improve New Zealand’s international telecoms connectivity and to strengthen the country’s links with Asian markets. The TGA cable spans 2,300km, linking Raglan in New Zealand and Narrabeen in Australia. The TGA cable system will have a design capacity of at least 20Tbps, deploying 100G technology. 

The TGA consortium includes Spark New Zealand (formerly Telecom New Zealand), Vodafone and Telstra which will jointly invest less than $60 million and expect to be ready for service in early 2015.

 

Hawaiki Cable spans 15,000 km, linking Australia, New Zealand, American Samoa, Pacific Island, Hawaii and Oregon, on the U.S. West Coast, with a design capacity of 43.8 Tbps of capacity. 

The Hawaiki Cable represents a solution to improve: 
- Trans-Pacific connectivity between Australia, New Zealand and the US 
- Trans-Tasman connectivity between Australia and New Zealand 
- Hawaii connectivity to Continental US 
- Pacific Islands connectivity to New Zealand, Australia and the US 

The main trunk of Hawaiki cable system is 100% owned and constructed by Hawaiki Submarine Cable LP (HSC LP), headquartered in Auckland, New Zealand. The total investment in Hawaiki Cable is approximately US$300 million (NZD 445m).

HSC LP and its affiliates owns and/or controls the cable landing stations ("CLS") in Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and Oregon, as follows:

  • Australia: CLS in Sydney is colocated at Equinix SY4.
  • New Zealand: HSC LP builds and owns a new CLS.
  • Hawaii: HSC USA builds and owns a new CLS in Kapolei, with DRFortress acting as landing party in Hawaii.
  • Oregon: CLS in Pacific City is leased from Tillamook Lightwave, who owns the CLS, with ACS Cable Systems, LLC operating the CLS in Oregon pursuant to an agreement with HSC USA. The SLTE of Hawaiki cable system is terminated at Flexential's Brookwood data center in Hillsboro.

American Samoa Telecommunications Authority ("ASTCA"), the government-owned incumbent local exchange carrier in the U.S. Territory of American Samoa, owns, constructs and operates the branch to American Samoa and corresponding landing station.

In October 2016, Amazon AWS purchased capacity in the Hawaiki cable system,  making it AWS' first investment in an international submarine cable system.

The Hawaiki submarine cable system was ready for service on Jul. 20, 2018.

In June 2019, Hawaiki Cable opened new subsea route to the US with direct access to Los Angeles, based on the most easterly segment of the SEA-US cable.

In December 2019, Hawaiki Cable announced to add a branch to New Caledonia, named ‘Tomoo Cable’, with the Société Calédonienne de Connectivité Internationale (SCCI) as the landing party in New Caledonia 

Hawaiki Cable Route

The Manatua cable system is a 3700km, 2 fibre pair system connecting Samoa, Niue, Rarotonga and Aitutaki in the Cook Islands and Tahiti and Bora Bora in French Polynesia. Each fibre pair is capable of operating at up to 10 Tbps. It is the first fibre connectivity to Niue and the Cook Islands.

The Manatua cable system has six landings: 

  • Tahiti and Bora Bora in French Polynesia,
  • Rarotonga and Aitutaki in the Cook Islands,
  • Apia, Samoa, and
  • Niue. 

The Manatua submarine cable system consists of

  • a two fiber pair trunk connecting Apia and Toahotu (Tahiti)
  • a two-fiber pair branch to Avatele,
  • a three-fiber pair branch to Rarotonga and
  • one-fiber pair branches to both Aitutaki and Vaitape. 

The Manatua Consortium is composed of:

  • The Office des Postes et Télécommunications (OPT), the telecoms operator of French Polynesia;
  • Avaroa Cables Limited (ACL), the cable operator of Cook Islands,
  • Telecom Niue Limited (TNL), the telecoms operator of Niue; and
  • Samoa Submarine Cable Company (SSCC), the cable operator of the Independent State of Samoa. 

The Manatua submarine cable system is supplied by SubCom,  to be ready for service in May 2020.

 

Manatua Cable Map

The Kumul submarine cable network (KSCN) is a 5,457-km domestic internet platform to link fourteen provinces and two national data centres in Port Moresby and Madang, Papua New Guinea (PNG). The KSCN also connects to Jakarta through Indonesia’s national backbone submarine cable network and further connect to Asia to form a new international internet gateway.

Located in the South Pacific, Papua New Guinea is an island nation with numerous mountains and volcanoes, where domestic telecommunications largely relies on satellite and microwave communications. Huawei Marine and PNG DataCo Limited, a Telecommunications Carrier established by the PNG Government, constructs the national submarine cable network to provide the backbone telecommunications needed by major coastal centers and islands in Papua New Guinea

The KSCN project, part-funded by the Chinese government. The PNG government approached China for funding support and the Chinese Exim Bank provided 85% preferential buyers credit to the PNG government to carry out the project.

PNG Kumul Submarine Cable Network
PNG Kumul Submarine Cable Network, Source: Huawei Marine

Gondwana-1 is a 2151km submarine cable network connecting New Caledonia and Australia, ready for service in September 2008.

The Gondwana-1 submarine cable system is owned and operated by the incumbent government-owned carrier in New Caledonia, OPT

The Gondwana-1 submarine cable system consists of two parts, the main segment linking New Caledonia to Australia, and a short unrepeated segment from New Caledonia to the Loyalty Islands, with a landing stations at Poindimie (Main island), Mouly (Ouvea) and Xepenehe (Lifou).

The  Gondwana-1 submarine cable lands at the following site:

  • Narrabeen beach, Oxford Falls Cable Landing Station, Sydney, Australia
  • Poindimié commune, North Province, New Caledonia
  • Mouli Island, Ouvea commune, Loyalty Islands Province, New Caledonia
  • Xepenehe, Lifou commune, Loyalty Islands Province, New Caledonia.

The Gondwana-1 submarine cable system is supplied by Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN)

 

Recovery and Reuse of PacRimWest for APNG-2

The APNG-2 is a 1800km submarine cable linking Papua New Guinea directly to Australia and indirectly to New Zealand and the rest of the world. The APNG-2 cable system was ready for service late 2006.

The APNG-2 cable lands at:

  • Ela Beach, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
  • Narrabeen, Oxford Falls, Sydney, Australia

The APNG-2 consortium comprises Telikom PNG, Telstra, and Telecom New Zealand.

The APNG-2 cable system was built by recovery and reuse of an 1,800 km section of the PacRimWest cable, which was recovered from just south of Guam, with the ship sailing towards the Solomon Islands.

The ship then recovered a loop of the PacRimWest cable off Rockhampton, Queensland, broke it, and spliced it to the Sydney end of the recovered 1,800 km section, sailed towards PNG, made landfall at Ela Beach near Port Moresby, where a terminal station from Guam was re-established to link to the Telikom PNG network.

PacRimWest is a fibre-optic cable with two fibre pairs. These were used to provide APNG-2 with around 1100 Mbit/s data capability, consisting of 2 x 565 Mbit/s PDH systems with all electronic regeneration.

The cost of the APNG-2 cable system would be about US$60million, it was finally about US$11million. Reuse of the PacRimWest cable saved about 80% of the cost of a new cable.

 

PacRimWest

PacRimWest was a twin-pair 560Mbit/s optical submarine cable connecting Australia to Guam, for a total length of 7,062km.

PacRimWest was constructed in 1994 and was came into service on 31 January 1995. 

PacRimWest was designed to have an operational life of 25 years, but it was decommissioned from service in 2005.

After decommissioning in 2005, the PacRimWest cable was cut near the Solomon Islands and relaid to form APNG-2 in 2006 connecting Sydney and Papua New Guinea, saving PNG around 80% of the cost of building a new cable and plant with the equipment from the Guam landing station being moved to PNG.

The article by  Alcatel Submarine Networks demonstrated the recovery and reuse of PacRimWest cable for APNG-2