Telstra Adds Capacity to Subsea Cable Network
Australian communications provider Telstra has announced the addition of substantial capacity to its subsea cable infrastructure with its first large capacity purchase on the new-generation New Cross Pacific (NCP) cable, and a further investment in the Faster cable.
The investments strengthen Telstra’s Japan to the US route and confirm Telstra’s subsea cable network as the largest in the Asia Pacific.
Telstra Enterprise Group Executive Michael Ebeid said Telstra’s investments were part of a long term strategy to capture data demand across Asia and the Pacific.
“Building on the capacity, resiliency and the footprint of our already vast subsea network is a key part of our international growth strategy,” Mr Ebeid said.
“Following Telstra’s purchase of Pacnet in 2015, we have strategically invested in additional capacity and infrastructure to meet the increasing demand for data right across the Asia Pacific region, carefully mapping our international paths and investment.”
In December, Telstra entered into agreed terms to purchase a 25 per cent stake in Southern Cross Cable Network (SCCN). Subject to definitive agreements and regulatory approvals, the agreement includes capacity on the existing Southern Cross network and new Southern Cross NEXT subsea cable – set to become the lowest latency path from Australia to the US.
Telstra has also boosted its Asia to US operations over the last 12 months, with a half fibre pair investment in the Hong Kong Americas (HKA) cable and a 6Tb capacity purchase in the Pacific Light Cable Networks (PLCN) cable, both due to be completed in 2020.
These new-builds complement Telstra’s major half fibre pair investment in the INDIGO cable system from South East Asia to Australia, which has reached a major milestone with the completion of the 4,600km Indigo West cable lay from Singapore to Perth just before Christmas.
Telstra’s subsea cable network now reaches more than 400,000km – enough to circle the world almost 10 times.
Once completed, Telstra’s investments in SCCN, HKA, PLCN and INDIGO, will grow Telstra’s subsea cable network ownership by more than 25Tb.
“Capacity demand on our international network has almost doubled over the past two years to over 200Tb, driven by the explosion of cloud computing, video streaming and e-commerce,” Mr Ebeid said.
“As the Asia Pacific’s economy grows, so do we. We have increased our capacity to meet the growing data requirements of our customers now and into the future with our investments in capacity and path diversity throughout Asia Pacific.
“Increased connectivity is also about helping Telstra’s domestic, international business, international carrier and Government customers expand globally, particularly throughout Asia Pacific.”
Telstra, together with Ericsson and Ciena, has also announced a new rapid restoration service on its busiest subsea cable routes in Asia, to help keep customers continuously connected.
The new continuous connection service combines the vast scale and diversity of Telstra’s subsea cable network, with flexible programmable infrastructure technology through Ciena’s GeoMesh Extreme solution.
Continuous connection builds on Telstra’s assured availability “Always on” service – a world first offering to key routes in Asia – which currently offers restoration within eight hours. Telstra’s new service will reduce that time from hours to minutes – a significant reduction to current restoration service arrangements in Asia.
Telstra’s Head of Connectivity and Platforms, Nadya Melic, said that following successful trials in December, the new service is now available on three of Telstra’s intra-Asia routes.
“The Asian region presents one of the most challenging environments for subsea cable systems. Busy and shallow shipping ports in Hong Kong and Singapore, high-levels of fishing activity and an ecosystem prone to natural disasters, all threaten to disrupt or damage underwater infrastructure,” Ms Melic said.
“Damage to a subsea cable can take weeks or even months to fix. But with our new continuous connection service, we are able to reroute customers impacted by potential damage to another subsea cable path on our three path network in less than 30 minutes.
“Through Telstra’s large subsea cable footprint and Ciena’s innovative technology, we are able to help remove the pain of an extended outage from our customers, with almost seamless restoration of their services.”
Together with Ericsson, Ciena’s GeoMesh Extreme solution increases the intelligence of Telstra’s leading subsea network, enabling rapid responses to changing network demands, all without manual intervention.
The technology solution provides increased visualisation over Telstra network, boosting resiliency, and providing the flexibility and agility to give customers fast, reliable data access.
Ericsson’s Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand, Emilio Romeo said: “Through this innovative technology we are supporting Telstra to meet ever-increasing network demands and providing unprecedented levels of reliability, automation and intelligence. This solution gives Telstra increased capacity to adapt to network changes, ensuring customers receive the best possible service.”
Ciena’s Vice President and General Manager of Asia Pacific and Japan, Rick Seeto said: “We are seeing a growing trend for more agile, resilient and adaptive networks that use flexible, instrumented photonics and advanced software control. These innovations allow network providers like Telstra to not only scale their network and boost capacity but also protect traffic and service delivery.”
The continuous connection service is expected to benefit a broad range of customers, including financial services organisations, carriers and cloud services providers, saving time, money and improving the experience they provide to its end users.