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

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19 Sep 2014

Italy’s Retelit has announced that it has joined the Asia Africa Europe 1 (AAE-1) submarine cable consortium, and will construct a landing station in Bari, on the Adriatic coast. The relevant agreements were signed on 16 September 2014 in Bangkok, in the presence of all of the cable’s backers, by Giuseppe Sini, Retelit chief commercial officer and China Unicom’s Troy Li, who acts as the chairman of the AAE-1 partners. The AAE-1 system will connect Hong Kong, Djibouti, UAE, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, India, Pakistan, Oman, Qatar, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Greece, Italy and France using 100Gbps technology.

On 12 September Digicel Group announced that it received the required approvals from government and regulatory authorities with regard to its purchase of a submarine fibre network across the Caribbean region from the Guadeloupe-based Loret Group and Caribbean Fibre Holdings. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s Cable Compendium, this deal will provide Digicel with a wholly owned submarine fibre-optic cable network providing capacity from Trinidad connecting twelve countries to Puerto Rico with onwards connectivity to the United States. In total, Digicel has secured access to a robust network comprising 15 submarine segments with a reach of some 3,100km across the Caribbean region. Digicel will also have extensive onwards capacity connecting to the US, Europe and Asia.

Interlink Telecom of Thailand has enlisted French-US vendor Alcatel-Lucent to apply its portfolio of Agile Optical Networking solutions across its network. The gear maker is supplying its dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) solution, with the 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS) platform integrated with Wavelength Tracker technology. To date, Interlink has installed its network along railways and major road routes across the country, connecting to neighbouring Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia and Malaysia. Phase one of the project, which will be launched this month, will cover 42 stations in Thailand’s eastern and southern regions, including Bangkok and Phuket.

Elsewhere in Thailand, Symphony Communication has enlisted Alcatel-Lucent to upgrade its core network with 100Gbps capacity using its 1830 PSS platform and the 1350 Optical Management System. The telco notes that the project, which is scheduled for completion during the fourth quarter of 2014, supports the Thai government’s National Broadband Network initiative. Alca-Lu is working in conjunction with Teo Hong Silom under the company’s Global Partner Programme.

Network performance monitors Renesys noted a break in the Asia-America Gateway (AAG) cable between 15 and 16 September. Internet speeds in Vietnam plummeted as a result of the break, and Vietnamese industry insiders have pointed out that the cable breach occurred ‘somewhere between Hong Kong and Vietnam’. According to a spokesperson from the Vietnam Post and Telecommunications (VNPT) group, the incident caused a reduction of about 40% of capacity of international internet bandwidth from Vietnam to Hong Kong and the United States on all networks. Previously, in July this year, the AAG suffered several weeks of disruption after a cut 18km off the coast of Vung Tau, in southern Vietnam. On that occasion, the cable was reconnected, welded and reburied under the seabed by early August.

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