“SMART” undersea cable to connect New Caledonia and Vanuatu in the southwest Pacific Ocean

A new kind of multi-purpose “SMART” undersea cable is scheduled to connect New Caledonia (landing on Lifou Island, Loyalty Islands group) and Vanuatu (Port Vila) by 2026, a telecom joint venture has announced.  The project ‘s partnership is between Vanuatu-based telecom and infrastructure company Prima and cable laying specialist Alcatel Submarine Networks, the two partners said in a release earlier this month.  Other parties supporting the project are the government of Vanuatu, New Caledonia’s telecom company OPT (Office des Postes et Télécommunications) and the French government.

Described as a “world first,” the cable would provide telecommunications, but is also equipped with built-in “Climate Change Nodes”, sensors designed to feedback real-time data for tsunami and earthquakes monitoring.  The “SMART” cable (for Science Monitoring And Reliable Telecommunications) is said to “symbolize the strength of international collaboration in addressing global challenges…merging telecommunications with environmental monitoring technologies…will substantially enhance the safety, connectivity, and scientific insight of the Pacific region.”

Vanuatu-New Caledonia first SMART cable system. Photo: Image Courtesy of ASN

The signing ceremony between partners took place during the recent Pacific Telecoms Council Meeting in Hawaii late January.   The Pacific Peering website describes the project as follows:

“As part of the TAM TAM project, Pacific Peering will integrate the installation of a SMART cable between Port-Vila (Vanuatu) and Lifou (New Caledonia). This first world use of this technology in the New Hebrides fault will allow the study of a sensitive seismic zone and better protection of the 650,000 inhabitants directly exposed to the risks of tsunami and earthquakes. The data will be accessible without a license by the scientific community and civil protection.  The data will be hosted in a data center in New Caledonia meeting the latest security and connection standards (redundancy, latency). This system of sensors integrated into telecommunications cables makes it possible to pool installation costs and thus reduce the CAPEX and OPEX of the seabed observation system. Our objective is to have all submarine cables equipped by 2030.”

“This groundbreaking project is set to provide not only a supplementary telecom cable to New Caledonia, extending to Australia and Fiji, but also a vital component in environmental monitoring. This innovative technology promises to revolutionize warning systems throughout the Pacific, enhancing security and preparedness against natural disasters,” the partners said.




Telstra International partners with: Trans Pacific Networks to build Echo cable; Google and APTelecom for central Pacific Connect cables

Orange Deploys Infinera’s GX Series to Power AMITIE Subsea Cable

NEC completes Patara-2 subsea cable system in Indonesia

SEACOM telecom services now on Equiano subsea cable surrounding Africa

China seeks to control Asian subsea cable systems; SJC2 delayed, Apricot and Echo avoid South China Sea

China plans $500 million subsea internet cable to rival US-backed project


2 thoughts on ““SMART” undersea cable to connect New Caledonia and Vanuatu in the southwest Pacific Ocean

  1. Thank you Alan for this story. Is this world’s first SMART undersea cable? Curious to know what kind of bandwidth these undersea cable provide and who are all will use this cable?

    1. No, there are many. Check: https://www.smartcables.org/systems

      The Science Monitoring And Reliable Telecommunications (SMART) Subsea Cables initiative seeks to revolutionize deep ocean observing by equipping transoceanic telecommunications cables with sensors to provide novel and persistent insights into the state of the ocean, at a modest incremental cost.
      The SMART Subsea Cables initiative is led by a Joint Task Force (JTF) made up of three United Nations organizations: the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>