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

5 Sep 2014

Digicel Group chairman, Denis O’Brien has called for the deployment of an undersea cable running from Papua New Guinea through the Pacific and back to Sydney, Australia to improve regional connectivity. Speaking at the Private Sector Forum of the United Nations Small Island Developing States (SIDS) conference last week, O’Brien proposed the creation of a public-private partnership to deploy a new subsea cable that would connect Papua New Guinea, Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Wallis and Futuna, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and Cook Islands, before reaching Australia. Mr O’Brien’s vision was supported in principle by World Bank Vice President and Special Envoy for Climate Change, Rachel Kyte, who indicated that the World Bank would consider backing the project if Digicel were to assume the lead role.

Comores Cables, SFR Mayotte and Emtel of Mauritius have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to form a consortium called Gombessa, that will deploy a 350km undersea link between Comoros and Mayotte. The deployment, which is expected to cost around EUR16 million (USD20.9 million), will achieve onward connectivity via the EASSy cable that lands in Comoros and the LION2 cable that connects to Mayotte.

Alcatel-Lucent has announced that the operators of the SAT-3/WASC/SAFE submarine cable systems have doubled the capacity of the network. The cable system has been upgraded from 420Gbps to 920Gbps in the northern segments – north of Ghana – and from 340Gbps to 800Gbps in the southern segments. The upgrade enables a sevenfold increase in SAT-3/WASC’s original design capacity. The upgraded system operates at 40Gbps with full in-system protection.

Pacific Wave has upgraded its US West Coast peering exchange by adding a second 40Gbps connection to Australia and New Zealand. The link goes from Los Angeles through the Big Island of Hawaii and on to Australia. It complements an existing 40Gbps link from Seattle through Oahu to Australia. Pacific Wave is an international peering exchange designed to serve research and education networks throughout the Pacific Rim and beyond.

CityFibre has announced plans to build a city-wide, 1Gbps fibre-optic network in Aberdeen, creating Scotland’s first Gigabit City in the process. The project is being made possible via a collaboration with Scotland-based Internet For Business (IFB). CityFibre’s infrastructure is projected to cover more than 6,000 companies as well as hundreds of public sector sites including schools, universities, libraries, hospitals and government agency buildings across the city. In recent years Aberdeen has developed into something of an economic powerhouse; the city accounts for 28% of Scotland’s GDP, and 30% of the country’s top 100 businesses are located there.

Fujitsu, NTT Corporation and NEC Corporation have announced that they have successfully tested 400Gbps/channel-class digital coherent optical transmissions technology, marking a step toward commercialisation. The test, which saw 400Gbps-class signals multiplexed up to 62 channels, verified fibre-optic transmissions of 12.4Tbps-24.8Tbps wavelength division multiplexed signals.

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