New Zealand will be getting a new undersea data cable within two years, opening up more capacity for fast and reliable internet.
France's Alcatel-Lucent said it had signed a contract with Spain's Amper SA to roll out the new submarine cable system to connect New Zealand with Hawaii by 2018.
Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks, the undersea cables subsidiary of Alcatel-Lucent, and the Amper SA unit, Bluesky Pacific Group, will build the system, which will span more than 9700km across the Pacific, the companies said.
The system will link New Zealand and Hawaii using the latest submarine cable technology, providing more data capacity and redundancy for New Zealand and the Pacific.
The system, named Moana Cable, will have two main segments.
The first, based on two fibre pairs, will connect New Zealand to Hawaii, serving Samoa and American Samoa and enhancing route diversity for New Zealand.
The second, based on one fibre pair, will link the Cook Islands to the Samoa hub over 1,700 km.
Increased traffic requirements for mobile broadband and fibre connections to homes and businesses are behind the drive for a new submarine cable.
The Moana Cable is also designed to accommodate the connection of additional Pacific island nations such as Niue, Tokelau and Tonga, which lie in close proximity to the New Zealand-to-Hawaii trunk, as well as French Polynesia on the East near the Cook Islands, the companies said.
Jaime Espinosa de los Monteros, Amper chief executive and Moana Cable Chairman, said Amper's investment in the cable would be funded internally through existing free cash flow generated by Bluesky.
Bluesky is a regional telecommunications provider in the Pacific operating in Samoa, American Samoa, Cook Islands and New Zealand.
Another submarine cable project Hawaiki Cable was set to roll out a cable that would connect New Zealand with Hawaii and the west coast of the United States by 2017.
Hawaiki Group said the project would cost $400 million and was backed by New Zealand's Sinclair Investments Group. In July chief executive Remi Galasso confirmed the project was going ahead with Whangarei as its landing point.
In 2012, New Zealand company Pacific Fibre hoped to build a fibre cable between Auckland, Sydney and Los Angeles but failed to raise enough capital for the project.
Internet entrepreneurs Sam Morgan and Rod Drury were behind Pacific Fibre, which was backed by The company had been backed by a number of high profile investors including Facebook billionaire Peter Thiel and Warehouse founder Sir Stephen Tindall.