Telstra boosts subsea network capacity with ICE4 rollout

Telco progressively rolls out latest optical engine from long-standing partner Infinera

An upgrade to Telstra’s Asia Pacific subsea network will deliver a 160 per cent boost to the telco’s fibre capacity and increase port density by 140. Infinera said that the roll out of its Infinite Capacity Engine 4 (ICE4) will also cut Telstra’s power consumption.

“Our commitment to our Asia Pacific customers means we are always adapting and creating capacity where it is needed,” said Telstra network planning principal, Andy Lumsden, in a statement. “This means we are continually working to deploy new technologies that enhance our existing network and complement our latest capacity investments.”

“With Infinera’s ICE4 optical engine, we are deploying the latest technology across our network,” Lumsden said. “We can now provision new services faster than ever before, which is critical in a region when capacity demand on our international networks has almost doubled over the past two years.”

 Infinera has partnered with Telstra for more than a decade.

The rollout of ICE4 across Telstra’s cable network is expected to be completed “in the coming months,”

“ICE4, our latest optical engine, enables Telstra to deliver multi-terabit capacity cost effectively with low power consumption and with the reliability required for subsea networks to perform,” said the vendor’s vice president of sales, Andrew Bond-Webster.

Telstra last week said that following a trial in December it would launch a ‘continuous connection’ service that over three inter-Asia routes on its cable network.

Thanks to SDN technology from Ciena, Telstra said it would now be able to reroute traffic within minutes if there is a cable break or other outage. (In early 2017 the company unveiled an ‘Always On’ service guarantee for its Hong Kong to Singapore and Japan to Hong Kong cables routes, allowing traffic to be rerouted within a matter of hours.)

Earlier this month Telstra revealed another enhancement to its subsea cable network, purchasing additional capacity on the New Cross Pacific (NCP) Cable, which connects Japan, the US, Taiwan and China, and the FASTER cable system, which lands in Japan, Taiwan and the US.

As part of the ‘Telstra2022’ strategy, initially detailed by CEO Andy Penn in June 2018, the telco’s subsea cable assets are now part of its InfraCo business.

Brendon Riley is CEO of InfraCo.

In addition to Telstra’s subsea cable network, InfraCo controls much of the company’s fixed infrastructure within Australia, including non-mobile related fibre, exchanges, poles, ducts and pipes.

Pro forma financials for InfraCo, issued by Telstra as part of its FY18 results, reveal its assets are worth around $11.1 billion.

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