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

24 Oct 2014

A consortium of international telecoms operators, including Chunghwa Telecom of Taiwan, KT Corporation of South Korea, an as-yet unnamed US company, and ‘the major carriers from China’ has come together in Busan, South Korea to sign the Construction and Maintenance Agreement and the Supply Contract for the planned New Cross Pacific (NCP) submarine cable system. The cable will directly connect China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the United States, and have a design capacity of 80Tbps. Construction on the 14,000km cable is expected to begin next month, and is scheduled to be completed in the 2nd half of 2017.

Speaking to reporters during the 16th edition of Futurecom, Francisco Ziober Filho, the president of Telebras, noted that plans to connect Fortaleza (Brazil) with Lisbon (Portugal) via a submarine cable are making progress, and the company expects the link to go live in the second half of 2016. Previously, in September 2012 Telebras and Spanish company IslaLink signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to build a transatlantic cable link between Europe and South America. Filho added that the duo are in the process of incorporating a new joint venture (JV) company to manage the deployment. The JV is expected to be owned by Telebras (35%), IslaLink (45%) and an unidentified third partner (20%).

Italian infrastructure provider Retelit has revealed that it will invest a total of EUR70 million (USD88.5 million) in the Asia-Africa-Europe 1 (AAE-1) submarine cable system. According to Retelit’s estimates the project should generate revenues of EUR145 million in its first ten years of operation. The company will invest an initial EUR58 million, followed by a further EUR12 million depending on the development of the business. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s Cable Compendium, Retelit joined the international consortium behind the 25,000k cable in September this year, and will construct a landing station in Bari, on the Adriatic coast. 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.

Angolan banks have approved a USD260 million bank guarantee for the Angola Cables consortium, earmarked for building the South Atlantic Cable System (SACS) undersea fibre-optic cable connecting the African country to Brazil, plus involvement in a joint project to roll out onward connectivity between Brazil and the US (the ‘Americas Cable’ in partnership with Google and others). In unrelated news, TeliaSonera International Carrier (TSIC) and Angola Cables have signed an IP Transit agreement to enhance regional connectivity to TSIC’s customer base along the West African coast using Angola Cables’ submarine cable assets.

Botswana’s state-owned infrastructure company, Botswana Fibre Networks (BoFiNeT), has awarded contracts for the construction of three new fibre-optic backbone links covering around 1,000km in total, as well as two metropolitan rings. The contracts are estimated to be costing around BWP200 million (USD21.6 million) and were awarded as follows: the 360km Sekoma-Tsabong link will be deployed by Dimension Data; the 325km Sehithwa-Mohembo project was handed to Complant Botswana and Mepi Building Construction; the 362km Maun-Ngoma optical fibre project is being carried out by Four Arrows and Echoes Holdings; the Maun metro ring will be deployed by MMP Construction and Nowaji Services; and the Kasane-Kazungula metro fibre project will be carried out by Business Online.

European fibre-optic network services provider euNetworks Group has expanded its footprint into Switzerland with the acquisition of Vevey-based Fibre Lac. Fibre Lac operates approximately 360km of dark fibre in the country, connecting a total of eleven cities, including Geneva, Zurich, Lausanne, Bern, and Basel. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

O2 UK has announced its intention to deploy a full fibre core network throughout the country, touching on 19 connectivity points from Glasgow, Scotland to Salisbury in the South West. As part of the process, O2 has signed a 15-year agreement with bandwidth infrastructure provider Zayo Group to manage the transition from its traditional SDH and Ethernet-based managed services infrastructure to a dedicated fibre-optic network.

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