Southern Cross Trials 100G As It Prepares 40G Upgrade

June 15th, 2011 by · Leave a Comment

The Southern Cross cable system, which has for a decade been the primary connection between the US and down under, has successfully trialed 100G.  The trial took place during the testing of 40G equipment aimed at the cable’s anticipated 2012 expansion.  They also said the 40G gear will take total network potential above 6Tbps, so presumably 100G would bring that above 10Tbps when the time comes although the number of wavelengths would surely decrease.

While it might seem odd that one of the longest cable systems (30,000+ kilometers) would see a 100G test at this point, the system does come ashore in Hawaii on both legs.  The longest individual segment would therefore be the 8000km segment between New Zealand and Hawaii’s big island, although they didn’t say which link or links they trialed 100G on.  They won’t be needing 100Gbps for a while yet anyway, though it’s nice to know it’s not beyond reach.

Then again, Pacific Fibre suggested in a blog post today that the total bandwidth numbers for Southern Cross’s upgrade are lower than expected.  Since the system is 3 fiber pairs for each leg, 6Tbps would correspond to a mere 50 wavelengths at 40Gbps for each.  Pacific Fibre is working on raising money for a new cable linking New Zealand to California and of course such a state of affairs would give their own reason d’etre a boost, so that’s not exactly an impartial source.  Southern Cross could also be setting some lower bounds rather than a theoretical maximum, there’s definitely some jockeying for position going on down there.

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Categories: Undersea cables

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