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

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7 Nov 2014

Angola Cables has enlisted Japan’s NEC Corporation to deploy the South Atlantic Cable System (SACS) between Angola and Brazil. The cable system will connect to the Sangano landing station in Angola, which is situated close to the capital city of Luanda, and in Brazil the system will link to a datacentre in Fortaleza, which will also serve a number of other affiliated cable systems that are under construction by Angola Cables. The operator recently announced the construction of another cable system, Cable Of The Americas (COTA) connecting Santos and Fortaleza in Brazil to Miami in the US. According to NEC SACS will have an initial design capacity of 40Tbps (100Gbps x 100 wavelengths x four fibre-pairs). The total amount of investment for SACS is estimated to be in the region of USD160 million.

Columbus Networks, the wholesale arm of Barbados-based Columbus International will be sold to Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC)as part of a USD1.85 billion transaction unveiled earlier this week. The deal will comprise Columbus’s residential FLOW/Karib Cable-branded assets across the Caribbean, alongside the company’s submarine cable business. Columbus Networks presides over a fully protected, ringed submarine fibre-optic network spanning close to 42,300km. Back in May 2013 Columbus Networks and CWC Wholesale Solutions (a subsidiary of CWC) formed a joint venture to provide expanded wholesale bandwidth capacity to global, regional and local communications companies in the Caribbean and Americas region. The joint venture company was called CNL-CWC Networks Ltd.

Iran is preparing to launch the second phase of the Europe-Persia Express Gateway (EPEG) project, Trend news agency reports. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s Cable Compendium, in November 2013 Alcatel-Lucent and Rostelecom announced the operational launch of the Russian segment of the EPEG cable. The system passes from Frankfurt across Eastern Europe, Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran and Persian Gulf to Barka in Oman. The EPEG was conceived as an alternative transit route to the Red Sea, Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea routes.

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) is finalising work on its open tender for the planned MYR800 million (USD239.5 million) undersea cable system linking Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia, with 19 private companies said to be eligible for the contract. MCMC chairman Datuk Mohamed Sharil Tarmizi has noted that the tender covers 50% of the project, with the remainder set to be funded by the federal government’s 2015 budget.

The Government of India has decided to bring private sector players into the National Optic Fiber Network (NOFN) project, which aims to connect 250,000 gram panchayats (GPs, local self-governed institutions) via a high speed broadband network. As such, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) will urge the cabinet to mandate Bharat Broadband Networks (BBNL) to invite bids from private telecom players. The NOFN has been divided into three phases: the first phase covers 50,000 GPs and will be deployed by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), Railtel and Power Grid by March 2015. The second phase covers another 100,000 GPs and is due to be completed by March 2016. The final phase covers the remaining 100,000 GPs, with the deadline set for March 2017. Currently, just 1% of GPs have been covered under the NOFN, and an official recently noted that the speed of the projects needs to be increased by 50 times over the next 18 months to reach the projected targets. The NOFN is being funded by the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).

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