SCCN Makes Grand Plans After More Sales

Bandwidth wholesaler Southern Cross Cable Network (SCCN) is preparing for capacity upgrades to its service, after a latest round of capacity sales worth US$443 million resulting from customer meetings in Hawaii last August.

The sales brings SCCN’s total capacity sales to more than US$1.6 billion, after the wholesaler launched its trans-Pacific high bandwidth network last November that connects Australia to the US west coast via Hawaii and a string of other stops (see story).

As a result of its customers’ support, SCCN will adopt new higher-capacity Dense Wave Division Multiplexing (DWDM) technology, initially applying it to SCCN’s third fibre pair which is scheduled to be equipped in early 2002. This will take the network’s total capacity to 240Gbit per second.

DWDM technology is four times faster than the 120Gbit per second capacity SCCN current uses. “When Southern Cross entered into service in November 2000, we expected capacity to be exhausted by the end of 2002,” said Ross Pfeffer, SCCN’s director for Asia Pacific market. “We now have the ability to provide for the Internet bandwidth needs of the region for the next four or five years.”

DWDM breaks down an optic fibre transmission into different frequencies or ‘colours’, which enable the fibre to carry greater bandwidth without necessarily needing a physically bigger cable. This technology will be incorporated by Australian Stock Exchange-listed telecommunications carrier Amcom in its IP1 project, that will build a 3875km fibre link between Australia’s eastern and western seaboards, from Melbourne to Perth (see story).

While SCCN has already committed to equipment for its first and second fibre pairs, the company intends to monitor demand with a possible view to also upgrading these to DWDM for a total network capacity of 480Gbit per second.

As well as its capacity upgrade, SCCN’s second Hawaii-to-mainland US link will enter into service on March 4, to complete its 30,500km loop network.

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