Southern Cross Cable Network announced on January 15, 2012 the selection of Ciena® Corporation to expand capacity as part of its (Phase H) upgrade of its subsea cable network. The upgrade will use Ciena’s industry-leading 40G+ coherent optical solutions, and equip with  40G and 100G submarine-grade coherent line interfaces. The upgrade is expected to be finished by Q2 2012. In earlier June 2011, Southern Cross Cable Network announced a successful trial of 100G prototype transmission.


To meet growing demand for high-bandwidth services and applications like video and cloud computing, which is now pushing its needs beyond 10 Gb/s wavelengths, Southern Cross Cables will increase capacity on all of its network segments between Australia, New Zealand and the United States, including one that spans more than 8,000 kilometers, with Ciena’s industry-leading 40G+ coherent optical solutions. Southern Cross Cable will also enhance its network’s survivability, efficiency, and intelligence with advanced bandwidth management and operations afforded by Ciena’s multi-protocol switching platform to future proof the network.

Building on Southern Cross’ existing coherent 40G terrestrial deployments with Ciena’ s 6500 Packet-Optical Platform, Southern Cross will augment its existing network with additional 6500 platforms equipped with 40G and 100G submarine-grade coherent line interfaces, which are designed to significantly and cost-effectively increase submarine network capacity without disrupting existing customer traffic or adding significant complexity to the network.

Southern Cross CEO, Fiona Beck stated that “Southern Cross continues its commitment in supporting the development of high speed broadband in Australia and New Zealand. The Phase H upgrade using Ciena’s 40G coherent optical technologies will increase lit capacity across our network to 2Tbs by Q2 2012, and represents an increase in current potential capacity to over 7.2Tbs, between Australia/New Zealand and the USA.”

“Retail broadband data caps continue to expand dramatically on the back of current international capacity prices in both Australia and New Zealand. Demand is now growing at around 35% to 40% annually with estimates of total international bandwidth usage out of Australia and New Zealand now at 620Gbps. The current upgrade puts Southern Cross in a strong position to stay well ahead of total demand growth and to support growth uplifts from both the NBN and UFB initiatives. Our longstanding policy of using the latest technology improvements to expand our lit and potential capacity and to lower our marginal capacity cost will ensure that Southern Cross is in a position to cost effectively meet demand growth for many years.”

Using Ciena’s WaveLogic coherent technology, the network expansion will involve a 400G capacity upgrade on each of Southern Cross’ seven segments, taking lit capacity on each cable to 1 Tb/s and total capacity on the network to 2 Tb/s. Southern Cross will also utilise Ciena’s 5430 and 5410 Reconfigurable Switching Systems, which offer 3.6 Terabits per second (Tb/s) and 1.2 Tbps of OTN-based intelligent control plane-enabled switching capacity for bandwidth aggregation and management.

Southern Cross Vice President Networks, Dean Veverka stated that “Southern Cross undertook extensive testing of potential supplier equipment prior to the tender process, and was impressed by the capability of both the Ciena equipment and its support team.”  

“In addition, the 54xx series Ciena platforms will allow us to create a mesh-enabled submarine network architecture, to continue to reduce the risk of natural and manmade network disruptions, even under multi-failure conditions ... a key feature of the Southern Cross network and of primary importance to us and our customers. The implementation of the Ciena 65xx/54xx technology will also provide the base platform on which Southern Cross’ new generation of products, such as 40GbE and OTN services, can be developed.”

In addition, Southern Cross is deploying Ciena’s OneControl Unified Management System for end-to-end management across Layers 0 and 1 on both the 6500 and 5400 platforms. This will provide Southern Cross Cable with a comprehensive solution to manage their mission critical networks including multi-layer intelligence for rapid service turn-up, unsurpassed visibility through protocol layers for troubleshooting and efficient use of assets and bandwidth.

Ciena’s Vice President and General Manager, Asia Pacific, Anthony McLachlan, states “This extension of our partnership with Southern Cross cable networks for coherent technology and intelligent switching will enable significant capacity and time-to-market advantage for this leading submarine network operator. In addition, this deployment illustrates our successful cross-portfolio product integration and our unmatched ability to provide a complete, turn-key solution that allows our customers to build more intelligent infrastructures with greater network efficiency, resiliency and service differentiation.” 

Source: Southern Cross Cable Networks