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

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17 Apr 2014

TIME dotCom of Malaysia has confirmed its participation in the previously announced Asia Africa Europe-1 (AAE-1) submarine cable project. The 25,000km subsea system, which was unveiled in January 2014, will run from south east Asia to Africa and Europe through Egypt, connecting Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, India, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Djibouti, Qatar, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Greece, Italy and France. Construction of the Malaysian segment is expected to commence in 2Q14, while the target completion date for the cable itself is 2016.

Telecoms officials from Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan have entered into fresh discussions regarding the deployment of the trans-Caspian segment of the previously announced Trans-Eurasian Information Super Highway (TASIM) network, an unnamed source has told the Trend news agency. It is believed that Azerbaijan has now offered to finance the construction of the underwater segment, the previous stumbling block for the project. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s Cable Compendium, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed in Baku, Azerbaijan in December 2013, by China Telecom (China), KazTransCom (Kazakhstan), Rostelecom (Russia), Turk Telekom (Turkey) and Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.

According to internet intelligence company Renesys, on 8 March 2014 Telenor Global Services activated the first international internet connection out of Myanmar that did not rely on the services of incumbent Myanmar Post and Telecommunication (MPT). Prior to a few weeks ago, all international Internet access to Myanmar had been handled through the state-run telecoms firm. The sole submarine cable link to Myanmar is Sea-Me-We-3, which was built in 2000 and lands in Pyapon.

Rostelecom is reportedly close to completing work on the submarine cable link across the Kerch Strait, which will connect Russia to the Crimean peninsula, bypassing Ukraine. Kommersant has reported that the construction of the 6km underwater component of the cable alone is estimated to cost between RUB400 million and RUB900 million (USD11.1 million to USD24.9 million).

Verizon Communications has begun to roll out 100Gbps technology across its metro networks, via systems from Fujitsu and Tellabs. Lee Hicks, vice president of Verizon Network Planning, commented: ‘The cost-per-bit of 100G in the metro currently is not as cost-effective as it is in the long-haul network, so 100G in the metro won’t be the default technology for a while’. Beginning in November 2007, the company successfully completed the industry’s first field trial of 100Gbps optical traffic on a live system. Verizon currently has 39,000 miles of 100G technology deployed on its global IP network.

PCCW Global, the international operating division of HKT, has signed an MPLS interconnection agreement that will enhance Telecom Namibia’s international network coverage. The agreement will see Telecom Namibia’s Ethernet and IP VPN service coverage extended to meet the needs of its overseas and regional customers via PCCW Global’s MPLS network, which covers more than 3,000 cities in over 130 countries throughout Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas.

XDSL, a regional South African ISP, has entered into an agreement with Dark Fibre Africa (DFA) and Conduct, DFAs last-mile fibre network subsidiary. The agreement provides XDSL with access to DFA’s 8,000km fibre network, increasing the footprint and capacity of its national network.

Elta-Kabel has deployed what it claims is the first residential fibre-optic broadband connection in Bosnia & Herzegovina, and has introduced a premium 200Mbps/100Mbps (down/uplink) subscription, priced at BAM119.94 (USD84.76) per month. Prior to the introduction of fibre broadband, the company offered maximum download speeds of 13Mbps over its two-way capable cable network.

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