Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks, the undersea cables subsidiary of Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU), has signed a turnkey contract with Amper, SA subsidiary Bluesky Pacific Group, to roll out a new submarine cable system spanning more than 9,700 km across the Pacific.
Named Moana Cable, the system will link New Zealand and Hawaii using the latest submarine cable technology, providing much-needed capacity and redundancy in the region to address increased traffic requirements as mobile broadband and the provision of fiber access to homes and businesses take center stage in the region.
With completion scheduled in 2018, the Moana Cable system will have two main segments: the first segment, based on two fiber pairs, will connect New Zealand to Hawaii over 8,000 km, serving Samoa and American Samoa and significantly enhancing route diversity for New Zealand; the second segment, based on one fiber pair, will link the Cook Islands to the Samoa hub over 1,700 km.
The Moana Cable is also designed to accommodate the connection of additional Pacific island nations such as Niue, Tokelau and Tonga, which lie in close proximity to the New Zealand-to-Hawaii trunk, as well as French Polynesia on the East near the Cook Islands.
The Moana Cable will be the first long-haul submarine cable in the Pacific islands region relying on the latest innovative 200 Gbit/s transmission technology, with ultimate capacity between Hawaii and New Zealand of 20 Terabits-per-second (Tb/s).
Bluesky Pacific Group has a strong track record as a submarine cable owner and operator with its ASH Cable connecting American Samoa to Hawaii and SAS Cable connecting Samoa to American Samoa. Anchor customers of the Moana Cable include Bluesky Pacific Group companies and existing ASH Cable customers. Bluesky has also signed a memorandum of understanding with RAM Telecom International, Inc, for collaboration and interconnection with its SEA-US submarine cable linking Asia to Hawaii and the West Coast of the United States. This technology partnership will enable the Moana Cable to provide unrivalled connectivity from New Zealand and the Pacific to the US and Asia.
Jaime Espinosa de los Monteros, Amper CEO and Moana Cable Chairman, said: “Our investment in Moana Cable is in alignment with Amper’s strategy of growing our footprint in the Pacific and supporting Bluesky’s vision of connecting our pacific communities around the world. We anticipate our participation in Moana will be funded internally through existing free cash flow generated by Bluesky.”
Adolfo Montenegro, Executive Committee Member of Amper and Bluesky Pacific Group CEO said: “We are committed to serving our customers best. For the Pacific Islands, it is important to tap into a digital highway between the larger markets to gain the benefit of economies of scale. In this instance the digital highway is Moana Cable connecting New Zealand and USA. Cost effective and reliable telecommunications bring significant benefits to education, commercial, medical and governmental activities and play a vital role in economic and social development.”
Philippe Dumont, President of Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks, said: “The continued need for broadband access is driving the new projects in the Asia-Pacific region and contributing to the upward trend the submarine cables industry is experiencing. We are pleased to work with Bluesky Pacific Group to enhance the social and economic development of the Pacific people, institutions and businesses by making available our expertise and knowledge of the Pacific area.”
Under the terms of the contract, ASN will deploy its advanced submarine optical technology based on the innovative 1620 SOFTNODE and OADM branching units to maximize capacity and network flexibility. ASN will be responsible for the project on a turnkey basis, from system design to installation and commissioning, as well as marine operations (cable laying and maintenance).