Vodafone, Spark and Telstra to build $70m trans-Tasman subsea cable

Fiona Chau
telecomasia.net

Vodafone, Telstra and Spark New Zealand have confirmed that they plan to build a new 2,300km subsea cable between New Zealand and Australia.

The three telcos will invest approximately $70 million on the new Tasman Global Access (TGA) Cable, which will land in New Zealand at Raglan, south of Auckland, and at Telstra's Oxford Falls landing station in Sydney.

The TGA system is designed for a capacity of at least 20 Tbps, and will offer low-latency connectivity across the Tasman Sea, between Raglan in New Zealand and Narrabeen in Australia. The system will provide an alternative route for trans-Tasman traffic, significantly improving New Zealand's international connectivity, as well as strengthening links into fast-growing Asian markets.

Simon Moutter, managing director of Spark New Zealand and Russell Stanners, CEO of Vodafone New Zealand, jointly commented on behalf of the consortium: “TGA will further strengthen reliable ultra-broadband connectivity in Australasia for a growing range of applications, including cloud computing, data center applications, content delivery, government and enterprise services.

“Additionally, it will enable a significant improvement in the robustness of New Zealand’s international connectivity with the rest of the world, by delivering this high capacity alternative route,” said Moutter and Stanners.

The project will commence in early 2015. Alcatel-Lucent was selected as the cable laying contractor after a competitive tender process, and the TGA Cable is expected to carry traffic by mid-2016.

Philippe Dumont, president of Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks, said this project confirms the continued growth of connectivity needs in Australasia and in the Asia region overall.

“We are pleased to provide our 100G coherent technology to help the consortium build the Tasman Global Access cable,” said Dumont, adding that it will significantly improve bandwidth and reliability of traffic to and from New Zealand.

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