New US$60m undersea cable between Aus and NZ to improve capacity

Telstra, Vodafone and Telecom will build a new US$60 million submarine cable between Auckland and Sydney to provide greater capacity and connectivity for New Zealand.

The three companies have signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) to co-invest in the cable, which is currently going by the name Tasman Global Access (TGA).

The consortium said the TGA cable will provide greater connectivity benefits for New Zealand at a lower cost than building another longer trans-Pacific cable.

The cable will have a design capacity of 30Tbps and will include three fibre pairs, with designs to be finalised over the next few months and the cable to be completed in mid to late 2014.

Simon Moutter, Telecom chief executive, and Tussell Stanners, Vodafone New Zealand CEO, said around 40 per cent of their international traffic is now from Australia to New Zealand, compared to 10 per cent in 2000.

“The business case for a new cable between New Zealand and Australia is compelling, providing greater capacity and global redundancy capability,” they said.

Martijn Blanken, managing director, Telstra Global, said the new cable would provide greater international connectivity for New Zealand.

“The partnership is a great outcome for Telstra as the high capacity, low latency Tasman Global Access cable will supply greater resilience and redundancies for carriers as well as enterprises that are located in Australia and looking for connectivity to New Zealand as well as strong international connectivity,” he said.

Australia and New Zealand are currently serviced by two other undersea cables – the Tasman 2 and the Southern Cross, which is owned by Telecom New Zealand, SingTel Optus and Verizon Business.

Telstra’s network map shows the Southern Cross cable has a design capacity of 2.4Tbps.

Follow Stephanie McDonald on Twitter: @stephmcdonald0

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Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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