The world of bandwidth down under continues to evolve rapidly. Today Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU, news, filings) announced that it has been commissioned by a subsidiary of Leighton Contractors Telecommunications to build a new submarine cable between Australia and Singapore. The obviously named Australia-Singapore Cable will, unlike most other cables in the region, land on the west coast of the continent at Perth. The route will traverse 4,800km and pass through Indonesia’s Sundu Straight. From Perth terrestrial fiber will connect it all the way over to Sydney. I’m still looking for a map though.
As currently envisioned, ASC will support up to 6Tbps with 40G waves, and potentially over 16Tbps if they upgrade the thing to 100G one day. I’d snicker at the need for 16Tbps in the Indian ocean any time soon, but after the recent announcement of that 40G 12.8Tbps Brazil-Africa link it seems like a fine number. After all, if you put 100G on any system, you’ll get such numbers. When they get that NBN fully (or even partially) implemented, the Aussies might even need another one someday.
The plans for ASC call for the system to start carrying live traffic in 2013. Alcatel-Lucent will supply the fiber, repeaters, branching units, power feeding equipment, and of course the submarine line terminals. According to Alcatel-Lucent, the contract is worth ‘several million dollars’, though the cost of the total project is probably rather more than that.
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