SubPartners sets date for Perth-Singapore cable build

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SubPartners sets date for Perth-Singapore cable build
The CSO Deep Blue cable laying ship. Photo: Pieter Inpijn.

West coast cable competition heats up.

United States cable layer TE Subcom has won the contract to build SubPartners' APX-West Perth to Singapore circuit, the company announced overnight.

The completion date for APX-West was set for last quarter of next year, but has slipped to the second quarter of 2015. SubPartners did not give a reason for the delay, or disclose the terms of the deal with TE Subcom.

APX-West will span 4700 kilometres and has an initial design capability of 32 terabit/s over four pairs of fibre-optic circuits. It will have spurs to Indonesia's capital Jakarta as well Christmas Island. 

SubPartners will sell the actual fibre pairs entirely or in parts on APX-West instead of selling or leasing capcity on the cable. In March this year, SubPartners announced that Telstra had agreed to a non-binding memorandum of understanding to buy one of the four fibre pairs on APX-West, on undisclosed terms.

Chief executive of SubPartners Bevan Slattery said selling the physical fibre provided a flexible financing model.

“Our model of selling spectrum directly to major telecommunications and content providers gives the flexibility and benefits of infrastructure ownership without the significant capital investment required of a single entity in undertaking such a project," Slattery said. 

APX-West will be in direct competion with the Trident Subsea Cable, which will link Perth and mining region Pilbara with Indonesia and Singapore providing 80 wavelengths with 100 gigabit per second capacity over two fibre pairs.

Trident will run two fibre pairs from Perth to Onslow, with a further four pairs branching off to Jakarta. Onwards connectivity to Singapore will be through Matrix Networks' existing cable, over two pairs, after that system has been upgraded.

Marine survey and construction work for the Trident cable is said to have started in August this year.

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