State-owned telco Telecom Venezuela (formerly CVG Telecom) and Cuban telco Transbit have revealed a plan to create a joint venture before the end of the year to build an undersea fibre-optic cable connecting the two countries, reports BNamericas, which quotes Telecom Venezuela president Julio Duran as saying that the network could be ready in 18 months from the creation of the venture – around mid-2009. The planned cable would run an estimated 1,552km from La Guaira, Vargas state, in northern Venezuela to Siboney in the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba, and support 20 million simultaneous voice calls. Both companies are reportedly talking with a number of Chinese companies about building the submarine system. CVG and Transbit first signed an agreement to install the cable in January 2007, and in June announced future plans to interconnect with other countries in the Caribbean. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, CVG Telecom was formed in 2004 as a government-controlled alternative to incumbent fixed line operator CANTV.