Nextgen will team up with Alcatel-Lucent to build a 2000 km subsea fibre optic cable off the north West Australian coast.
NextGen has emerged as the winner of a two-year tender process to connect broadband services to INPEX Ichthys Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and Shell Prelude Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) projects located in the Browse Basin area.
Peter McGrath, CEO of Nextgen, told iTnews the cable will be built using the Alcatel-Lucent submarine network at a cost the company predicted to exceed $100 million.
The infrastructure project will provide the LNG suppliers with access to high-speed data and voice communication services and is anticipated to take two years to complete.
The cable’s initial capacity will be 3.2 terabits per second with scope to expand to 32 terabits per second, and it will support 80 channels of up to 40GB.
With the gas producers now on board, McGrath said NextGen will now be looking to expand the number of customers serviced by the cable, both onshore and out to sea.
“Over the next 6 months we anticipate other producers will come on board and we will modify the basic design with additional branching units,” he said.
Although the cable is being built primarily for the oil and gas industry it will connect into NextGen’s existing national network through Darwin.
“The cable is core, high speed and protected and there will be sufficient capacity to provide services to mainland Australia network clients,” said McGrath.
Alcatel-Lucent had previously been awarded the contract to provide the telecommunications systems for Shell's $12 billion, 488m long and 74m wide Prelude floating vessel.
INPEX awarded the infrastructure fit out - which included the installation of conduits ready for fibre optic cabling for its control systems - for its $US34 billion Ichthys LNG project to Leighton Contractors in 2012.