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

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14 Mar 2014

The consortium of 15 telecom operators behind the South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe 5 (SEA-ME-WE 5) submarine cable system has handed contracts for the construction of the network to Tokyo-based NEC Corp and French-US vendor Alcatel-Lucent. NEC will construct the segment running from Singapore to Sri Lanka, while Alca-Lu will deploy the link between Sri Lanka and France. The 20,000km SEA-ME-WE 5 system is expected to start carrying commercial traffic by early 2016, and is designed to provide upgradable transmission facilities via 100Gbps technology. The consortium consists of: Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited (BSCCL), China Mobile International Limited (CMI), China Telecommunications Global Limited (CTG), China United Network Communications Group Company Limited (CU), Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (du), Orange Group, Myanmar Post and Telecom (MPT), PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia International (Telin), Saudi Telecom Company (STC), Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SingTel), Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), Telekom Malaysia Berhad, Telecom Italia Sparkle (TIS), TOT and TeleYemen.

The government of China has issued Mali with a loan worth XOF39 billion (USD82.4 million) to assist with the deployment of a fibre-optic backbone. The network, which will be rolled out by Chinese vendor Huawei, will link capital city Bamako to Markala, Mopti, Gao and Timbuktu. The loan contract was signed by Malian finance minister Bouare Fily Sissoko and Cao Zhongming, a Chinese ambassador.

NBN Co, the company responsible for rolling out Australia’s fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) backbone network, and systems vendor Coriant have successfully completed a 1TBps transmission trial over a 1,066km fibre-optic ring in South East Queensland, Australia. Coriant says that the field trial – which took place in Toowoomba, demonstrated a better than 35% improvement in spectral efficiency, which significantly increases the overall capacity of the system.

Windstream is deploying Infinera’s DTN-X platform, featuring 500Gbps super-channels, across its long-haul express fibre-optic network. During the first phase of this network build, Windstream will focus on enhancing network routes to provide wavelength services in and between large cities including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia and Washington, DC. Windstream operates a nationwide fibre and IP network, covering 118,000 miles of fibre and 27 data centre locations across the US.

Late last month Saint Lucia joined the growing list of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries to open an internet exchange point, or IXP. The Saint Lucia Exchange (known as SLiX), was launched under the umbrella of a broader World Bank-funded Caribbean Communications Infrastructure Program (CARCIP), coordinated by the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU). International telcos LIME and Columbus Communications have both thrown their weight behind the project, and local representatives of both companies participated in the launch ceremony.

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