Southern Cross partners SES Networks to enhance connectivity

Southern Cross partners SES Networks to enhance connectivity in the Pacific

12 January 2021 | Natalie Bannerman

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Southern Cross Cables Limited (SCCL) will use SES Networks’ satellite connectivity services to upgrade its Southern Cross cable network.

The Southern Cross cable network, in use since 2000, connects Nukunonu of Tokelau, Kiritimati Island of Kiribati and the rest of the world. However, SCCL is laying a new cable, Southern Cross NEXT, to enhance and eventually replace the existing Southern Cross cable network.

Specifically, SCCL will use SES’s O3b constellation of medium earth orbit (MEO) satellites to connect remote stations on the incoming Southern Cross NEXT cable network during its commissioning phase.

“As we work on laying the groundwork to improve connectivity, network resilience and network performance with the incoming Southern Cross NEXT network, we needed a strong and robust satellite network which could perform at the same level of low-latency, high-availability standards as our incoming next-generation cable network. SES’s solution not only fit the bill, but actually far exceeded our stated requirements,” said Laurie Miller, CEO of SCCL.

The satellite services provided by SES will ensure that the subsea cable network gets an immediate connectivity boost, ss work to upgrade the existing Southern Cross systems and implement Southern Cross NEXT  begin.

SES Networks will provide a managed O3b network service to the remote stations, using a satellite terminal that delivers fibre-like performance with a low latency of less than 150ms round trip.

“This cooperation with Southern Cross is of utmost importance because it truly shows the complementary nature of satellite and undersea cable networks. It is a great example of how the entire network ecosystem can work together to ensure the Pacific region – with thousands of islands and vast open seas in between – remain connected at all times,” said John Turnbull, director of Australia and the Pacific region at SES Networks.

“The unparalleled reach of satellites and its ability to be rapidly deployed can complement and augment large-scale terrestrial infrastructure, delivering more connectivity resilience wherever you are, anytime you need it. With demand for connectivity and data consumption growing at an accelerating pace across the Pacific, we believe this hybrid network infrastructure is going to benefit businesses and communities greatly.”