SubCo has announced plans for a new domestic subsea cable connecting east and west Australia.

The company this week announced the SMAP submarine cable that will connect Sydney, Melbourne (Torquay), Adelaide, and Perth.

Subco SMAP cable.png
– Subco

The new 5,000km cable system will be built by Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) and installed by Optic Marine Systems (OMS Group). The company said it marks the first stage of construction of HyperOne, Australia’s first national fiber backhaul network.

Subco said the ‘fully armored’ cable will have 12 fiber pairs and, through the use of spatial division multiplexing (SDM) technology, is expected to deliver over 300Tbps per section at 15Tb/kW.

The SMAP cable system is scheduled to be ready for service (RFS) in Q1 2026, with marine surveys beginning before the end of 2023 and manufacturing set to commence in Q1 2024.

Bevan Slattery, Subco founder and CEO, said, “I am incredibly excited to start construction on our SMAP cable which is both the jewel and critical foundation piece of our broader vision for a hyperconnected Australia. SMAP is well-positioned to achieve a series of firsts: Australia’s first long-haul submarine cable to utilize SDM technology; the first fully armored long-haul cable system in Australia; and the first zero carbon long-haul cable system in the world. Once built and operational, SMAP will be the most advanced, secure, and innovative submarine cable ever built in Australia.”

SubCo, part of Slattery’s Soda Group, owns the Oman Australia Cable (OAC) cable and owns capacity on the Indigo subsea cables.

First announced in 2020 and launched last year, the 10,000km OAC cable runs from Perth in Australia to Muscat (and later Salalah) in Oman, and features a secret spur to a US Naval base on Diego Garcia island. Launched in 2019, the 4,850km Indigo Central cable connects Sydney to Perth, while the Indigo West branch connects Perth to Singapore.

NextDC-founder Bevan Slattery founded HyperOne in February 2021, outlining plans for a new private fiber backbone with interconnection points for new subsea cables across the entirety of Australia.

HyperOne will be a 20,000+ km (12,000 miles) AU$1.5 billion (US$1.1 billion) hyperscale national fiber network across the country. The company promises speeds of 10,000 terabits per second, with interconnections planned for Darwin, Perth, and Sydney.

Paul Gabla, VP sales & marketing, ASN, added: “We are delighted to be working with the SubCo team again to deliver what will be a transformational piece of network infrastructure for Australia. SMAP will be a technical showcase of the advancements in submarine cable technology, which ASN is proud to be leading globally.”

Emmanuel Delanoue, CEO of OMS Group, said: “OMS is honored to be working in partnership with SubCo and ASN on the SMAP project, and we look forward to leveraging our significant marine and installation assets in the region.