Aqua Comms, a leading provider of network connectivity services, Bulk Fiber Networks, a leading builder and operator of fiber network infrastructure, and Meta have completed the construction of the Havhingsten cable system. A fully funded project, the parties have contracted with Alcatel Submarine Networks (“ASN”) to build the subsea cable, which will bring greater connectivity in Europe and the Nordics.
This new route represents true diversity avoiding congested paths across the English Channel and offers resilient network architecture options for enterprises, carriers and hyperscalers whilst delivering the lowest latency available between Dublin and the Nordic region. The Havhingsten cable system showcased several key innovations and technological milestones throughout its design and construction.
Firstly, Havhingsten is the world’s first aluminum conductor powered subsea cable system. As a material, aluminum allows for a much lower cable conductor voltage drop, which ultimately allows for a higher number of fiber pairs per cable. To achieve such innovative solutions requires investment in technology and close collaboration with partners and vendors. The removal of traditional copper raw material and replacement with aluminum from the manufacturing process benefits the overall system in efficiency and cost reduction, as copper is associated with variable availability and higher price. Additional benefits include, lighter aluminum allows more cable to be loaded onto an installation vessel and improved resistance to hydrogen penetration, an element which is unfavorable to the operation of optical fiber in ocean waters.
Secondly, the end-to-end system combines data transmission seamlessly across both an unrepeatered subsea segment in the Irish Sea, a terrestrial segment in the UK and a repeatered segment in the North Sea. Typical systems have one or two of these elements, but not all three.
Lastly, the system utilized a new enhanced, jet-assisted burial plough in both the North and Irish Sea segments, allowing the installers of the system to bury the cable to our specific demanding level of protection in very challenging seabed conditions along the route.