REANNZ awards Chorus and Vodafone with Hawaiki cable backhaul contracts

28 March 2018 | Jason McGee-Abe


REANNZ, New Zealand’s research and education network operator, has picked Chorus and Vodafone to provide fibre backhaul services to connect its backbone network to the Hawaiki Cable landing station at Mangawhai Heads in Northland.

2018 03 29 - Hawaiki Cable Map

On behalf of government, REANNZ has a 25-year anchor tenancy contract on the Hawaiki subsea cable, linking New Zealand to Australia, Hawaii and mainland US, with options to expand to several South Pacific islands.

The backhaul contracts have been awarded following an open tender process through GETS, the Government’s electronic tender service. International bandwidth will initially start at 40Gbps and grow to more than 4Tbps (i.e. 4,000Gbps) over the course of the contract.

“REANNZ is very pleased to partner with suppliers Vodafone and Chorus to complete the final stages of this 14,000 km journey. It represents a major step towards REANNZ’s members being able to take advantage of the Hawaiki Cable, expected to be ready for service in June 2018,” said Nicole Ferguson, CEO of REANNZ.

“It means New Zealand’s researchers, scientists, innovators and educators have access to high quality connectivity and capacity to source and share their work globally. It will facilitate New Zealand’s participation in key projects like the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope, as well as advanced climatic and genomic research. Our goal is to ensure New Zealand is not left behind by the tyranny of distance or gaps in technology.”

Vodafone and Chorus will work with REANNZ and Hawaiki to provide diverse connectivity back to the existing REANNZ network points of presence (PoPs) on the North Shore and in central Auckland, ensuring resilience and security of supply and protect the network from being affected by a single adverse event.

Andrew McDonald, head of wholesale sales and customer experience at Vodafone New Zealand, added: "As anchor tenants of the Hawaiki cable system, Vodafone and REANNZ have made an investment in a vision of empowering kiwis to continue to claim their place on the global stage. We’re tremendously excited to be partnering with the New Zealand research community as a supplier to REANNZ network."

REANNZ delivers the high-capacity, ultra-high-speed backbone telecommunications network that connects New Zealand's research, education and innovation sectors regionally, nationally, as well as globally. REANNZ also develops tailored technology services to universities, polytechnics, CRIs and other independent research organisations.

The government contributed $15 million to purchase an anchor tenancy on the new trans-Tasman and trans-Pacific submarine cable. REANNZ is meeting the annual fees, worth $50 million over the 25-year period, out of operational budgets.

“Partnering with the supply sector to launch our connection to the landing station takes us one step closer to further enhancing New Zealand’s connectivity capability, creating an essential piece of infrastructure, and providing much needed new capacity and diversity of supply," added Nicole Ferguson.