Telstra said on Wednesday that the Southern Cross NEXT cable (SX NEXT) connecting Australia with the US via New Zealand and the South Pacific Islands will be ready for service in July 2022.
Telstra – which holds a 25% stake in Southern Cross Cables Network (SCCN), the owner of SX NEXT – says the system is the first single span express cable – as well as the first direct cable – to connect Australia to the US, making it the shortest subsea route. It is also the only cable that has landing stations in both Tokelau and Kiribati in the Pacific Islands. Fiji also gets a landing station along the route.
SX NEXT has a four-fibre pair cable system that adds another 72 Tbps of capacity to the Australia-US route. The cable was built using up to 400G DWDM technology and purpose-built landing stations, which will deliver high-speed connectivity and low latency between countries, as well as a resilient network infrastructure for the Pacific region.
The SX NEXT cable is the 12th international cable to connect to Australia and the third cable in the SCCN ecosystem along the existing Southern Cross and Endeavor-AAG cable systems, which together span over 15,850 km along the sea floor.
Telstra International CEO Oliver Camplin-Warner said in a statement that the faster connectivity, stability and resiliency provided by SX NEXT will help accelerate digital transformation for businesses across the Oceania region.
“With the rise of cloud-based services and hybrid remote working models, connectivity with diversity and reliability is more critical than ever to ensure constant uptime and uninterrupted services,” he said.
Camplin-Warner added that the SX NEXT cable will strengthen Telstra’s existing subsea network infrastructure.
The SX NEXT cable was deployed by Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) and cost around $350 million. The project kicked off in 2017, with construction of the cable completed at the end of 2021.