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Telstra buys quarter share of Southern Cross Cable Network

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(Image: Southern Cross Cable Network)

Telstra is set to buy into Southern Cross Cable Network through the purchase of new shares that will give the telco a 25 percent stake in the company.

The telco has also agreed to purchase “substantial” capacity on Southern Cross’ existing network and the NEXT subsea cable.

New Zealand telco Spark said that as a result of Telstra’s share purchase, its holding will be diluted to around 37.5 percent. Other shareholders of Southern Cross are Singapore’s Singtel, and Verizon Business.

“Telstra has long been a key customer of Southern Cross and this investment will mean Telstra has an immediate ownership interest in the existing Southern Cross network, as well as in Southern Cross NEXT,” Telstra group executive for enterprise Michael Ebeid said.

“This route is extremely important to our business as US to Australia traffic accounts for more than 80 percent of all the internet traffic to Australia.”

See: How Telstra handles subsea cables during typhoons

Southern Cross announced in August last year that it will start building the $350 million NEXT submarine cable, which it touted as being the fastest between Australia and New Zealand, and the United States.

The third cable is expected to provide an additional 60Tbps capacity to the existing 20Tbps on the two present Southern Cross cables, and will be ready for service in early 2020.

In July, Southern Cross said SubPartners had completed landing arrangements in Sydney.

“Landing arrangements in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States [are] now effectively completed,” Southern Cross CEO Anthony Briscoe said at the time.

“Our partnership with SubPartners for the construction of the facilities has allowed us to leverage their expertise in the construction of similar facilities for other projects that they are involved with in the region, helping us to effectively manage cost and risk around this critical aspect of the project.”

SubPartners is currently also working on the Indigo subsea cable system connecting Sydney, Perth, Singapore, and Jakarta, which is being built alongside Google, Singtel, Telstra, AARNet, Indosat Ooredoo, and Alcatel Submarine Networks and will span around 9,000km, with two fibre pairs and a design capacity of 18Tbps. It is expected to be completed by mid-2019.

In January, Southern Cross Cables announced that the Pacific islands of Fiji, Tokelau, and Kiribati had all signed contracts to be connected to the 60Tbps NEXT subsea cable.

Subsea cables across the globe

  • Vocus’ Australia-Singapore Cable (ASC)
  • Vocus’ North West Cable System (NWCS) between Darwin and Port Hedland, and the new Tiwi Islands spur being added
  • The Australian government’s Coral Sea subsea cable, being constructed by Vocus to connect Australia, Papua New Guinea, and Solomon Islands and funded through the foreign aid budget
  • Google’s Dunant transatlantic subsea cable between Virginia Beach in the United States to the French Atlantic coast
  • The Indian government’s Chennai-Andaman and Nicobar islands subsea cable, being built by NEC
  • Southern Cross Cables’ NEXT subsea cable system between Australia, New Zealand, and the United States, being built by SubPartners
  • The Trident subsea cable system connecting Perth with Singapore via Indonesia
  • The Jupiter subsea cable connecting the US, Japan, and the Philippines and being built by a consortium including Facebook, Amazon, SoftBank, NTT Com, PLDT, and PCCW
  • The Hawaiki subsea cable between Australia, New Zealand, and the US
  • Superloop’s Hong Kong cable
  • Telstra’s Hong Kong Americas (HKA) cable between Hong Kong and the US
  • Telstra’s Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN) between Hong Kong and the US
  • Google’s Japan-Guam-Australia (JGA) cable system
  • The Asia-Pacific Gateway (APG) subsea cable connecting China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, and Singapore, owned by a consortium including China Telecom, China Unicom, China Mobile, NTT Communications, KT Corporation, LG Uplus, StarHub, Chunghwa Telecom, CAT, Global Transit Communications, Viettel, and VNPT, and being constructed by NEC
  • The Southeast Asia Japan 2 cable (SJC2), which will have 11 landing stations in Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, China, South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan, being built by NEC and funded by a consortium including China Mobile International, Chunghwa Telecom, Chuan Wei, Facebook, KDDI, Singtel, SK Broadband, and VNPT
  • The Bay to Bay Express Cable System (BtoBE), connecting Singapore and Hong Kong with the US, being funded by consortium including Facebook, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and China Mobile International, and being built by NEC
  • The South Atlantic Cable System (SACS) connecting Angola and Brazil, going live in October 2018 after being built by NEC

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