SUBCO announced that it is ready to begin construction on a new transcontinental submarine cable that will connect Sydney, Melbourne (Torquay), Adelaide and Perth (S-M-A-P), with the project having officially achieved Contract in Force (CIF) status.
The SMAP cable, with a total length of 5,000km, will be supplied by Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) and installed by Optic Marine Systems (OMS Group), and it marks the first stage of construction of HyperOne, Australia’s first national fibre backhaul network.
Sydney-Melbourne-Adelaide-Perth (SMAP) subsea cable map, Image courtesy: SUBCO
SUBCO’s SMAP cable represents the start of a new generation of hyperscale network infrastructure that will prove critical to Australia’s digital future. With 12 fibre pairs and the use of Spatial Division Multiplexing (SDM) technology, the cable will have substantially increased capacity and reduced energy consumption requirements. As such, the cable is expected to deliver over 300Tbps per section at an extraordinary 15Tb/KW, which would render SMAP 25 times more energy efficient than the legacy terrestrial inter-capital systems that currently exist along the same route.
In addition to more capacity and greater efficiency, SMAP is expected to deliver the highest uptime and level of security of any Australian long-haul submarine cable system. Once built, it will be Australia’s first fully armoured submarine cable which will help to more firmly protect the system from unplanned outages, enabling SUBCO to deliver industry-leading network performance and resiliency for Australia.
With SMAP already designed to become the lowest carbon per terabit long-haul network in Australia, SUBCO is also committed to making it the world’s first zero carbon long-haul submarine cable system. This is a significant feat that will be achieved through the installation of solar and renewable infrastructure at all cable landing station locations, as well as the purchase of 100% renewable energy.
Currently with CIF status, the SMAP cable system is scheduled to be ready for service (RFS) in Q1 2026, with marine surveys beginning before the end of 2023 and manufacturing set to commence in Q1 2024.