Southern Cross Cable Networks has deployed the FiberConnect 320X photonic switch, from CALIENT Technologies, Inc., to give it the capability to remotely reconfigure its fiber network in seconds, adding further protection in the event of fiber breaks or repeater/transponder failures.
The Southern Cross Cable Network is a fully protected fiber-optic cable network linking Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Hawaii directly to the U.S. west coast. The network has 28,900 km of submarine and 1,600 km of terrestrial fiber optic cables, operated in a figure eight configuration. The network has a total of 11 landing points, including sites in Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji; as well as Hawaii, California, and Oregon in the U.S.
“Even though 90% of capacity on the Southern Cross Cable Network is configured for automatic protection on self-healing rings, there is always a small chance of multiple failures that require redirection of traffic to maintain service,” said Fiona Beck, Southern Cross CEO. “Until now this has been a manual intervention that would take time to implement. Because service availability is our top priority, we wanted to take advantage of photonic switching technology to eliminate delays when restoring traffic.”
“After reviewing the vendors in the photonic switching space, we came to the conclusion that CALIENT offered the best port density, price, and overall reputation and as a result we have now acquired and deployed their switches at all 11 sites in our network,” Beck said.
CALIENT’s FiberConnect 320X is based on the company’s 3D MEMS technology and uses a three-dimensional array of silicon micro mirrors to switch light paths. The FiberConnect 320X platform offers the industry’s highest density photonic switch with 640 total fiber terminations consisting of 320 transmit ports and 320 receive ports. The FiberConnect 320X is built with high reliability and redundancy for mission-critical carrier applications. The power supplies and all key electronics cards are hot swappable to eliminate a single point of failure.
“In a network like Southern Cross Cable Networks, each fiber on the network is carrying approximately 40 DWDM wavelengths, so every minute wasted during an outage could cost thousand of dollars,” said Atiq Raza, Chairman & CEO of CALIENT. “Our FiberConnect 320X has proven itself at three of the Tier 1 carriers here in the U.S. I believe Southern Cross will be very pleased with the CALIENT solution.”