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

14 Nov 2014

Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding (OTMT) has announced that its MENA Submarine Cable System (MENA SCS) is now fully operational. In its first phase of operation the cable spans a distance of 8,800km and lands in Italy, Saudi Arabia, Oman and India, also passing through Egypt. OTMT notes that it has informed the Egyptian Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) of the cable’s operational status. According to the Egypt-based carrier, MENA SCS plans to achieve a 10% share of the incremental addressable market within the next three years, targeting sales of over USD140 million. Maan El Amine, chief executive of MENA SCS, said: ‘It has taken us a long time to launch this project due to the unforeseen complications of permits within the territories of Egypt, but we are now excited to finally be in the market with a very promising project. MENA Cable will solve long prevailing problems for service providers who need a reliable solution connecting Asia with Europe.’

The first phase of the Central Africa Backbone (CAB), linking Gabon and the Republic of Congo is on target to conclude before the end of the year, Agence Ecofin reports. The progress report follows a mid-term review carried out by Jerome Bezzina, project manager at the World Bank and Thierry Lezin Moungalla, the Congolese Minister of Posts and Telecommunications. The first phase of the rollout covers the link between Pointe-Noire and the Gabonese border, via the Congolese towns of Dolisie (in western province) and border town Mbinda. Going forward, work on phase two of the rollout will commence in the first quarter of 2015.

Elsewhere in Africa, the Ghanaian government is poised to complete its Eastern Corridor Fiber Optic Backbone project, which connects 27 districts and towns between Ho (Volta Region) and Bawku (Northern Region), by the end of December 2014. BizTech Africa reports that all necessary ‘checks and testing’ have been carried out by the project’s contractors and the fibre backbone is ‘ready to go’. Going forward, the government is reportedly planning to award the ‘Western Corridor Fiber Optic Backbone’ contract in Q1 2015.

Meanwhile, in India optical fibre firm Sterlite Technologies plans to expand its presence from six cities to ten cities by 2017. The company currently has a footprint incorporating Mumbai, Pune, Delhi NCR, Bangalore, Chennai and Ahmedabad, but plans to roll out services in Hyderabad, Kolkata, Kochi and Chandigarh in due course. Sterlite’s head of network strategy Benoy Varghese commented: ‘Our aim is to connect one million homes with fibre based internet network by 2017. We will focus on [delivering an] internet connection with speeds of 100Mbps … We have rolled out 500km of last mile fibre.’ Sterlite is said to preside over India’s largest private fibre-optic network.

Online marketplace eBay.com has chosen Hibernia Networks to provide EtherReach services from Atlanta, Georgia to Dublin, Ireland, the vendor has announced. The EtherReach Circuit utilises Hibernia Networks’ 200+ points of presence (PoP) that extend into 300,000 lit buildings in North America, Europe and Asia, leveraging local carrier relationships.

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