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

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18 Jul 2014

Orange Group has announced its intention to reinforce its presence on the Asia-Europe network route by signing a construction and maintenance agreement for the SEA-ME-WE 5 submarine cable. In its planned configuration, SEA-ME-WE5 will connect Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Italy and France. The international consortium of backers, of which Orange is now a member, plans to inaugurate the 20,000km-long cable by the end of 2016. Orange notes that, thanks to the inter-connection point in Djibouti, it can open up a new route towards the Indian Ocean with a view to supporting the broadband boom in the French overseas territories of Reunion and Mayotte. Earlier this week Orange signed a ‘strategic’ deal, which will see its local unit in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Orange DRC, manage the country’s recently deployed fibre-optic backbone, as well as the controversial landing station in Muanda. Days later, the French telco also announced that it had launched a large-capacity IP Point of Presence (PoP) in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. The Ivorian port city was selected to house the infrastructure because it already acts as a landing point for the 17,000km African Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable.

Allied Fiber, a US-based provider of open access network-neutral colocation and dark fibre, has announced that GlobeNet, a subsea cable operator and wholesale provider of Latin American data network services, has signed a 20-year agreement for dark fibre, as well as neutral colocation and interconnection services. The announcement comes just weeks after Allied Fiber announced the Florida segment of its Southeast route was officially Ready for Service (RFS). The segment covers more than 360 miles throughout the State of Florida and was built specifically to serve network operators of all types including, national, regional and metro carriers, as well as submarine cable networks such as GlobeNet.

Zayo Group, a global provider of bandwidth infrastructure services, has reportedly acquired a 1,000-mile fibre network in South Yorkshire for an undisclosed sum. The network was previously owned by local fibre scheme Digital Region, which collapsed in 2013 amid escalating costs. Previously, in May 2014 Zayo acquired Geo Networks, a London-based dark fibre provider, adding 2,100 route miles to its European network. A Zayo spokesperson told Computer Weekly: ‘The assets will be transferred over to Geo Networks and decommissioning work will commence following the migration of all Digital Region customers from the network in August 2014’.

Jean Pierre Biyiti Bi Essam, Cameroon’s telecoms minister, has launched an international call for Expressions of Interest (EoI) to recruit a consultant for the development of operating procedures for submarine cables landing in Cameroon. According to online portal Business In Cameroon, the consultant will be tasked with ‘proposing an operational management plan, developing a commercial strategy and defining a regulatory framework that guarantees open access’. Applications must be submitted no later than 23 July 2014.

Vietnamese internet users suffered a significant outage this week when a portion of the Asia America Gateway (AAG) cable link between Vung Tau and Hong Kong was damaged. The cut was identified on Tuesday, around 18km off the coast of Vung Tau, which is located in southern Vietnam. Work is underway to repair the link, which has been damaged a number of times in recent years, most recently in November 2013.

IslaLink, which operates fibre-optic submarine cables between the Balearic Islands and the Spanish mainland, has deployed the Infinera DTN-X packet optical transport networking platform across its networks. The Infinera Intelligent Transport Network, which features the DTN-X platform, will enable IslaLink to differentiate its services and manage costs as it scales network capabilities.

Belgacom International and Carrier Services (BICS), an international connectivity and interoperability services provider, has established a point of presence (PoP) in Johannesburg, South Africa. The PoP will be located in facilities belonging to Teraco, a local datacentre company.

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