Australia's Vocus Group and Alcatel Submarine Networks have signed an agreement to deploy a subsea cable system linking Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands with Australia.
The new Coral Sea Cable System project will be funded as part of Australia's international development assistance program, and operated by Vocus Group.
Coral Sea will be a 4,000km able offering an ultimate capacity of at least 20Tbps for each of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. It is scheduled to be complete late next year.
The project also includes the delivery of a domestic subsea cable system connecting the three main islands on the Solomon Islands archipelago. It will mark the first time subsea cable connectivity has been deployed to the Solomon Islands.
Huawei had originally planned to deploy the cable system, which had initially been scheduled only to link Australia and Papua New Guinea.
But the Australian government objected to the project due to security concerns over a Chinese telecoms vendor's involvement, and offered to fund its own cable project, also connecting the Solomon Islands, instead.
“This is the third submarine cable project that Vocus Group has undertaken with ASN since 2014,” Vocus Group CEO Kevin Russell said.
“Building this critical infrastructure on behalf of the Australian government will bring fast, reliable and affordable connectivity to Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, together with the associated economic and social benefits.”
The Coral Sea Cable System
Source: Vocus Group