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Cable compendium: a guide to the week’s submarine and terrestrial developments

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24 Jan 2014

Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding (OTMT) has announced that its subsidiary Middle East and North Africa Submarine Cable Systems (MENA-SCS) has signed an Indefeasible Right of Use (IRU) agreement with Telecom Egypt for the deployment of a diversified dark fibre pair between Zaafarana on the Red Sea and Abu-Talat on the Mediterranean coast, after acquiring the mandatory permits. The agreement effectively completes the terrestrial infrastructure of the cable system; all marine construction work has already been completed and the landing stations and network operating centre (NOC) have been fully operational since 1H12. Additionally, OTMT has signed a separate agreement with Telecom Egypt to acquire local and international capacity and services.

Alcatel-Lucent has won a contract to upgrade the EASSy submarine cable system linking South Africa to Sudan with 100G technology, enabling it to ultimately carry capacity in excess of 10Tbps, to support the continued explosion of data traffic in Africa. The 10,000km EASSy cable is implemented in a protected ring configuration linking eight countries from Sudan to South Africa, via Djibouti, Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, Comores and Mozambique.

Huawei Marine Networks has partnered with Viatel, a Portuguese telecoms engineering network supplier, to successfully complete the deployment of the 685km Flores-Corvo Submarine Cable System. Prior to the completion of the submarine link, Corvo and Flores relied upon basic satellite communications links, whereas the other seven islands comprising the Azores archipelago were connected via the Azores Domestic Cable System.

Palau Telecoms has enlisted Xtera Communications for the turnkey supply and installation of a submarine cable system that will connect Palau to Guam. Xtera will design and install the system, which will enable onward connectivity to the US mainland, the Asia Pacific region, Australia and New Zealand via interconnects with existing and planned submarine cable systems.

Ciena Corp and Tata Communications have completed 100G upgrades along the TGN-Pacific Submarine Cable System connecting the US to Japan and three routes in the TGN-Intra-Asia market. Tata’s TGN-P cable spans 22,300km and connects Emi, Chiba (Japan) to Hillsboro, Oregon (US, north route), and Toyohashi to Hillsboro (south route).

TeliaSonera International Carrier (TSIC) has selected Coriant to provide its DCM-free hiT 7300 DWDM platform to enable 100G connectivity across its new Warsaw-Brno-Frankfurt route. The new route connects to TSIC’s existing pan-European, pan-North American and transatlantic DWDM network which was 100G-enabled in March 2013.

Alcatel-Lucent and BT Group have announced trial speeds of up to 1.4Tbps with a record spectral efficiency of 5.7 bits per second per Hertz (b/s/Hz) on an existing core fibre connection. Alca-Lu claims that the trial represents the fastest speed ever achieved in commercial grade hardware in a real-world environment and is equivalent to transmitting 44 HD films in a single second. The field trial was conducted over an existing fibre link between the BT Tower in London and BT’s Adastral Park research campus in Suffolk.

Cogent Communications has chosen Hibernia Networks to expand its network reach throughout Northern Ireland. By leveraging Hibernia’s high-capacity, multi-count dark fibre, Cogent further strengthens its infrastructure in Ireland. Hibernia was one of the first sub-sea carriers to connect North America to Northern Ireland as part of its Project Kelvin build in 2009.

Sea Fibre Networks (SFN), owner and operator of the European CeltixConnect sub-sea network, has confirmed that Aqua Ventures International (Aquavint), a United Arab Emirates based investment firm, has made a significant strategic investment into SFN. This investment will be used to extend the network footprint and expand the company’s product portfolio.

The government of landlocked Burundi has confirmed that the first 1,000km stretch of its USD25 million nationwide fibre-optic network has been deployed, covering nine out of the country’s seventeen provinces, namely Muramvya, Mwaro, Gitega, Karusi, Ngozi, Kayanza, Kirundo, Muyinga and Bujumbura. The second phase of the project will connect Burundi’s southern border with Tanzania, while the third stage of the project will connect Bujumbura, the Burundian capital, to both Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The cable, which has received World Bank funding, is a joint venture between Africell (36%), Onatel (26%), U-Com (23%), Econet (12%) and CBINET (3%).

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has granted its approval of the transfer of the landing licence for the Antilles Crossing-St Croix cable from Global Caribbean Fiber (GCF) to Fibre Investments Holdings Limited (FIHL), a company indirectly owned by Digicel Group. The Antilles Crossing system formed part of Digicel’s recent acquisition of a number of submarine cable assets owned by GCF, while the FCC holds the regulatory responsibility for the US Virgin Islands.

According to an FCC filing, the ownership of the Cable Landing Licence for the Hawaii Island Fiber Network (previously known as the GST Interisland Cable) has been modified to reflect that the submarine cable is now 50% owned by Wavecom and 50% owned by TW Telecom of Hawaii.

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