A consortium of telecoms operators consisting of UK-based Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC), Aruba’s Setar, Telconet of Ecuador, Telefonica Global Solutions and pan-Caribbean telco United Telecommunication Services (UTS), has signed a turnkey contract with French-US vendor Alcatel-Lucent to deploy the Pacific Caribbean Cable System (PCCS), a 100G submarine cable system linking Jacksonville, Florida to Manta, Ecuador.
The 6,000km submarine cable system will also connect to Tortola (British Virgin Islands), Puerto Rico, Aruba and Curacao, as well as Cartagena in Colombia and Maria Chiquita and Balboa in Panama. The system will have an ultimate design capacity of 80TBps, and reduce the risk of communications disruption by providing cable route diversity and alternative bandwidth access to existing cables in the region. Work on the project is expected to start before the end of the year and commercial operations are likely to commence before the third quarter of 2014.
Alcatel-Lucent notes that the solution set to be deployed for the project includes an integrated 100G wet plant of cable optimised with coherent submarine fibre and high bandwidth repeaters, power feed equipment, and its 1620 Light Manager (LM) submarine line terminal equipped with advanced coherent technology. The solution will be managed by the Alca-Lu end-to-end submarine management system. As part of the turnkey contract, the vendor will also be responsible for project management, system design, marine operations and system commissioning.