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

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14 Feb 2014

Taiwan’s Chunghwa Telecom is planning to participate in the construction of three major new international submarine cables between now and 2016, reports the China Post, with the combined undertaking likely to cost around TWD4.2 billion (USD138.5 million). Chunghwa hopes to elevate its overall network capacity to over 2TBps after the three cables are completed. Leng Tai-feng, president of Chunghwa Telecom’s international business group, named the three projects as the Asia Pacific Gateway (APG), the South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe 5 (SMW5) and the New Cross Pacific (NCP) cable. The systems are expected to be finished by April 2015, mid-2016 and February 2016, respectively.

The Bangladeshi government has decided to sell unused bandwidth on South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe 4 (SEA-ME-WE4), the country’s sole submarine cable link, with a view to generating around BDT6 billion (USD75.9 million) in revenue. Previous plans to lease the unused bandwidth have been discarded in favour of an outright sale, but the Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications & Information Technology (MoPTI) will retain enough bandwidth to meet the country’s projected needs up to 2021.

The Djibouti Data Center (DDC) has announced the launch of a new internet exchange point (IXP) at its facility in Djibouti City. The new IXP will allow existing customers, carriers, ISPs, and others to keep local traffic in East Africa by reducing the need to exchange traffic at other peering points outside of the region. The DDC claims to be the first and only data centre in East Africa with access to all five major international submarine cables.

Israel-based international telecoms provider Bezeq International has deployed the Apollo packet-optical transport system from ECI Telecom, the latter has announced. Bezeq requires the upgraded capacity to keep pace with the demands of its large enterprise and business customers, and the deployment represents Israel’s entry into the 100Gbps fibre-optic sector.

AccessKenya has acquired additional international broadband capacity on the SEACOM submarine cable system in order to support its future growth plans. The Synchronous Transport Module (STM-4) line has a capacity of 620Mbps and will bolster the firm’s capabilities as it implements its network expansion strategy to cover all 47 Kenyan counties. AccessKenya is currently extending its fibre infrastructure in and around Nairobi, as well as linking to the northern and southern coasts.

According to local press reports, progress on Med Cable, the EUR12.3 million (USD15.7 million) submarine cable system that was acquired by Global Telecom Holding (formerly Orascom Telecom Holding), part of the Vimpelcom group, in November 2012, has ground to a halt, with no progress reported in 2013. As such, only the domestic Algiers-Annaba link is operational, with work on the Algiers-Marseille link believed to have been postponed indefinitely.

Telecom Egypt has announced that it has reached a USD12.5 million settlement with a tanker in compensation for damage caused to two of its submarine cables last March. The amount covers the repair costs for the EIG and TE North cables, which the B-Elephant ship cut and damaged, causing internet connections to drop off for broadband users across Egypt last spring.

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