Telecom New Zealand, Vodafone and Telstra to build TGA submarine cable

Telecom New Zealand, Vodafone and Telstra on Monday signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding to jointly invest in building a submarine cable between Auckland and Sydney that they claim will expand New Zealand's international connectivity and strengthen its links into Asian markets.

The trio said that the proposed Tasman Global Access (TGA) cable will incorporate three fiber pairs with a design capacity of 30 Tbps. After finalizing design of the TGA cable in the next few months, the TGA partners has proposed that the cable will be completed by mid to late 2014.

Although New Zealand currently has four cable links to Australia, a number of local service providers said they are seeing traffic come from Australia as their business customers open up new offices in New Zealand. In addition, the new link will provide New Zealand with greater redundancy and access to Australia's international connectivity to the U.S. and Asia.

Both Telecom New Zealand and Vodafone said that "about 40 percent of both Telecom and Vodafone's international internet traffic is now Australia to New Zealand, versus just 10% in 2000."

Two of the other beneficiaries of the TGA cable will be providing connectivity for Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) and New Zealand's Ultra Fiber Network. Telecom New Zealand recently announced that it would begin offering UFB services in March.

TGA isn't the only consortium that has new submarine cable ambitions.

Southern Cross, a submarine cable operator offering service between Australia and the United States, recently launched plans to deploy Ciena's 100G transmission equipment and reduce service prices.

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