Telecom NZ, Vodafone and Telstra partner for trans-Tasman cable

19 February 2013

Telecom New Zealand, Vodafone and Telstra have signed a non-binding MoU to co-invest in a submarine cable between Auckland, New Zealand and Sydney, Australia.

The cable named Tasman Global Access (TGA) is designed to significantly improve New Zealand’s international telecoms connectivity and to strengthen the country’s links with Asian markets.

TGA is expected to cost less than $60 million and will incorporate three fibre pairs. It will have a design capacity of 30Tbps, 300 times today’s internet data demand out of New Zealand.

The design is expected to be finalised within the next few months and TGA will likely be completed in mid- to late-2014.

"We are seeing increased data content being provided from Australia-based servers by global companies and being accessed by New Zealand internet users. An additional cable connection with Australia will strengthen the business case for international data servers to be located in New Zealand," said Simon Moutter, CEO of Telecom New Zealand, and Russell Stanners, CEO of Vodafone New Zealand in a joint statement.

Around 40% of both Telecom NZ and Vodafone NZ’s international traffic is now Australia to New Zealand compared to 10% in 2000.
 
"The partnership is a great outcome for Telstra as the high capacity, low latency Tasman Global Access cable will supply greater resilience and redundancies for carriers as well as enterprises that are located in Australia and looking for connectivity to New Zealand, as well as stronger international connectivity. This cable will enable New Zealand to better leverage Australia's much stronger internet connectivity. It will also achieve significant international connectivity benefits for New Zealand to link with Australia, and also onwards to the USA and into Asia," said Martijn Blanken, managing director at Telstra Global.

The consortium partners said TGA will achieve significant international connectivity benefits for New Zealand at a fraction of the cost of building another much longer trans-Pacific cable.

In this, it is likely that they were referring to Pacific Fibre, the 13,000km project linking New Zealand and Australia to the US which was cancelled last summer after failing to raise sufficient funding.

Topics: Telecom NZ, Vodafone, Telstra, partner, trans-Tasman, cable, Auckland, New Zealand, Sydney