The Southern Cross NEXT submarine cable project has been granted Provisional Acceptance, the system owner Southern Cross Cable Limited (Southern Cross), the system supplier Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) and the project consulting firm Pioneer Consulting jointly announced Monday. The Southern Cross NEXT cable system will be the largest and lowest-latency route connecting Australia, New Zealand, and the United States, to initiate commericial service on July 7th, 2022. 

The Southern Cross NEXT cable system will provide 72 Tbps of capacity and will add to the existing Southern Cross Cable Network (SCCN) to form the Southern Cross network ecosystem, which includes 12 cable stations and eight major datacenter hubs in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. The Southern Cross network spans six countries and eight time zones, connected by over 45,000 km (28,000 mile) of cable. 

Southern Cross network ecosystem

The Southern Cross NEXT cable system includes the trunk of 4 fiber pairs between Sydney, Auckland, and Los Angeles, along with branches to Fiji, Tokelau, and Kiribati. Each fiber pair is designed with 18Tbps of capacity, for a total system capacity of 72Tbps, leveraging the submerged Reconfigurable Optical Add Drop Multiplexer (R-OADM) technology supplier by Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN). 

Southern Cross has deployed Ciena's 6500 Submarine Line Terminating Equipment (SLTE), using GeoMesh Extreme submarine solution powered by WaveLogic 5 Extreme coherent optics.This deployment will allow Southern Cross to not only tackle the growing demand for bandwidth but also support the resiliency, reconfigurability, and rapid activation requirements that their customers have become accustomed to from Southern Cross, as end-user digital applications continue to proliferate and require global networks to become more adaptive.

 Fiber connectitivity of the Southern Cross NEXT cable system, Source: Optus


 The Southern Cross NEXT cable system is expected to initiate commercial service on July 7th, 2022.