SUBCO’s New “Super” SMAP Cable Achieves Contract in Force

Brisbane, Australia – 24th August 2023. – SUBCO announced today that it is ready to begin construction on a new transcontinental submarine cable that will connect Sydney, Melbourne (Torquay), Adelaide and Perth (S-M-A-P), with the project having officially achieved Contract in Force (CIF) status. Referred to as SMAP, the new 5,000km cable system will be built by Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) and installed by Optic Marine Systems (OMS Group), and it marks the first stage of construction of HyperOne, Australia’s first national fibre backhaul network.

SUBCO’s SMAP cable represents the start of a new generation of hyperscale network infrastructure that will prove critical to Australia’s digital future. With 12 fibre pairs and the use of Spatial Division Multiplexing (SDM) technology, the cable will have substantially increased capacity and reduced energy consumption requirements. As such, the cable is expected to deliver over 300Tbps per section at an extraordinary 15Tb/KW, which would render SMAP 25 times more energy efficient than the legacy terrestrial inter-capital systems that currently exist along the same route.

In addition to more capacity and greater efficiency, SMAP is expected to deliver the highest uptime and level of security of any Australian long-haul submarine cable system. Once built, it will be Australia’s first fully armoured submarine cable which will help to more firmly protect the system from unplanned outages, enabling SUBCO to deliver industry-leading network performance and resiliency for Australia.

SUBCO’s Founder and CEO Bevan Slattery said, “I am incredibly excited to start construction on our SMAP cable which is both the jewel and critical foundation piece of our broader vision for a hyperconnected Australia. SMAP is well-positioned to achieve a series of firsts: Australia’s first long-haul submarine cable to utilise SDM technology; the first fully armoured long-haul cable system in Australia; and the first zero carbon long-haul cable system in the world. Once built and operational, SMAP will be the most advanced, secure and innovative submarine cable ever built in Australia.”

Paul Gabla, VP Sales & Marketing, ASN said, “We are delighted to be working with the SUBCO team again to deliver what will be a transformational piece of network infrastructure for Australia. SMAP will be a technical showcase of the advancements in submarine cable technology, which ASN is proud to be leading globally.”

With SMAP already designed to become the lowest carbon per terabit long-haul network in Australia, SUBCO is also committed to making it the world’s first zero carbon long-haul submarine cable system. This is a significant feat that will be achieved through the installation of solar and renewable infrastructure at all cable landing station locations, as well as the purchase of 100% renewable energy.

Emmanuel Delanoue, Chief Executive Officer, OMS Group said, “OMS is honoured to be working in partnership with SUBCO and ASN on the SMAP project, and we look forward to leveraging our significant marine and installation assets in the region.”

Currently with CIF status, the SMAP cable system is scheduled to be ready for service (RFS) in Q1 2026, with marine surveys beginning before the end of 2023 and manufacturing set to commence in Q1 2024.

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