Southern Cross selects Ciena for network upgrade

01 November 2011 | Kavit Majithia


Southern Cross cable network has selected Ciena to expand its network capacity as part of an upgrade to its subsea network.

As part of a push to meet the growing demand for high-bandwidth services, Southern Cross Cables will increase capacity on all network segments between Australia, New Zealand and the US though Ciena’s 40G optical solutions. The company said it needs to address the demand for video and cloud computing by pushing beyond 10Gbps wavelengths, with Ciena’s solution also expected to provide the cable with network management capabilities to ensure the service is best equipped to keep up with latest technologies.

“Southern Cross continues its commitment in supporting the development of high-speed broadband in Australia and New Zealand,” said Fiona Beck, CEO at Southern Cross. “The phase H upgrade using Ciena’s 40G coherent optical technologies will increase lit capacity across our network by 2Tbps by Q2 2012, and represents an increase in potential capacity over 7.2Tbps between Australia, New Zealand and the US.”

Beck estimates the demand for international bandwidth is growing at a rate of between 35-40% in both Australia and New Zealand, with total usage from both regions running at speeds of 620Gbps, and she believes the latest upgrade puts the company in a good position to support the growth coming from both the National Broadband Network (NBN) initiatives in Australia and Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) project in New Zealand.

“The current upgrade puts Southern Cross in a strong position to stay well ahead of total demand growth and to support growth uplifts. 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.”

The network expansion will include a 400G capacity upgrade on Southern Cross’ network, taking lit capacity on each cable to 1Tbps and total capacity on the network to 2Tbps. Ciena will also deploy its OneControl Unified Management System for end-to-end management on the network platforms, which aims to utilise efficient use of assets and bandwidth.

“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 provider,” added Anthony McLachlan, vice president and general manager at Ciena Asia-Pacific.