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

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16 May 2014

Vanuatu-based Interchange (PNG) Limited has confirmed that it has been awarded Individual Network and Gateway licences in Papua New Guinea. With a licence already secured in Solomon Islands, the pathway is now clear for Interchange to finalise funding of a 3,500km extension of the existing Interchange Cable Network 1 (ICN1) cable. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s Cable Compendium, the USD30 million ICN1 system – linking Port Vila, Vanuatu to Suva, Fiji – was declared ready for commercial service in January 2014. In Fiji, the 1,230km system feeds directly into the Southern Cross Cable Network (SCCN) which connects Sydney, Australia to Hawaii. Going forward, Interchange has commenced work on ICN2 – a 3,000km cable system that will link Vanuatu to Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. ICN2 is scheduled to be Ready For Service (RFS) by early 2016.

Columbus International and Ocean Networks have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) relating to a Landing Party Agreement for a submarine cable and related network services in Panama. Ocean Networks is the owner and developer of the South America Pacific Link (SAPL) submarine cable system. The planned 9,700km trans-Pacific cable will link Balboa, Panama to Oahu, Hawaii. Under the terms of the partnership, Columbus Networks, working through the recently formed alliance company with Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC), CNL-CWC Networks, will design and construct a carrier class cable station to house the SAPL system and provide network operations and management services. In addition, Columbus and Ocean Networks have agreed to include additional commercial agreements for onward connectivity from this link to the Network Access Point (NAP) of Americas in Miami, and the Caribbean region, using a variety of subsea network routes.

Upgrades are underway to bring the Southeast Asia-Japan Cable (SJC) submarine cable system up to 100G channel capacity. The latest upgrade to the 8,986km system, courtesy of TE SubCom brings an increase of 6.5Tbps of total capacity. The SJC cable system began service in June 2013 and links Brunei, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the Philippines, and includes the option to connect with Thailand.

SEACOM has deployed DTN-X packet-optical transport systems from Infinera in its African terrestrial networks, the optical transport systems vendor has confirmed. SEACOM was established in 2007 by a group of African investors with the objective of bringing global connectivity to the continent. Two years later, SEACOM launched the first broadband submarine cable system along the East African coastline linking South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and Mozambique with major internet connection hubs in Europe and Asia.

Nic Rudnick, CEO of pan-African telecoms operator Liquid Telecom Group, has revealed that his company is planning to invest around USD200 million in fibre-optic deployments across sub-Saharan Africa over the course of the next 18 months. The investment is likely to see the firm’s fibre network extended to three new, as-yet-unnamed countries in southern Africa. According to, the company has completed the back-haul network between Johannesburg, South Africa and Beitbridge, in Limpopo, on the Zimbabwe border. The back-haul, sold at wholesale rates, will transmit data and voice traffic to the core network owned by various operators. Liquid Telecom claims to operate the largest fibre-optic network with more than 17,000km of cable across Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Lesotho and South Africa.

Hibernia Networks is deploying Ciena’s ‘Programmable GeoMesh’ solution on its transatlantic Hibernia Atlantic cable system to enable rapid service provisioning. The deployment includes Ciena’s GeoMesh submarine solution, including the 6500 Packet-Optical Platform, WaveLogic coherent optics and full ROADM. Together, these components will enable Hibernia to react quickly to address changing transatlantic traffic patterns.

TI Sparkle, the international services arm of Telecom Italia Group, has announced that it has expanded its global IP backbone, with two new points of presence (PoP) in Fortaleza, northern Brazil, and Panama City, as well as upgrading its Americas Backbone to 100Gbps. Panama is viewed as an increasingly important regional connectivity hub, while the new PoP in Fortaleza represents TI Sparkle’s fourth in Brazil.

Filipino operator Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) is considering constructing a new international cable-landing station to further boost network redundancy and resiliency, BusinessMirror reports. In an interview, PLDT president Napoleon L Nazareno noted that the telco is actively looking for international partners for the project. PLDT is currently a member of the Asia-America Gateway, Asia Submarine Cable Express and the Asia Pacific Cable Network consortia. In addition, the carrier has approximately 85,000km of fibre-optic cables deployed across the Philippines, providing connectivity to its customers.

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