An environmental sensor network to detect natural phenomena such as earthquakes, tsunamis and temperature readings may be attached to SubPartners' planned APX-East trans-Pacific data cable.
First reported by Commsday, SubPartners said it will use the cable builder TE SubCom's sensor port technology, to which the company claims exclusive access, for the detection network.
SubPartners chief financial officer Raj Sharan told Commsday the sensors connect into the 140 repeaters on the cable but use bandwidth capacity outside the normal range. Therefore, there is no loss of capacity for cable customers, Sharan said.
Sharan said the underwater sensor network could be the largest in the Pacific and potentially useful for research institutions.
The 12,500 kilometre APX-East cable will stretch between Sydney and Hermosa Beach in California, with branch connections to Auckland and Oauhu, Hawaii as well as some of the Pacific islands.
APX-East will feature six fibre pairs, with 64 wavelengths each. The design capacity per wavelength is 100 gigabit per second, for a total system capacity of 38 Tbps. Estimated service date for the cable is first quarter of 2015, SubPartners said.
The cable is expected to cost in the region of US$300 million to complete. Unlike traditional cable operators, SubPartners intends to sell part-ownership of APX-East and its second cable system between Perth and Singapore with a spur to Indonesia, APX-West.
Telstra has already indicated it is interested in buying capacity on APX-West.