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

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21 Nov 2014

The Pacific Caribbean Cable System (PCCS) has landed at Manta, Ecuador, linking the country with Balboa, Panama. According to Ecuadorian wholesale carrier Telconet, as cited by TeleSemana, the PCCS undersea system has a capacity 60 times greater than that Ecuador is currently consuming. The cable consortium includes Telconet, alongside Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC), Setar of Aruba, Telefonica Global Solutions and United Telecommunication Services (UTS) of Curacao. The PCCS cable, which will span from the US to Ecuador, is expected to be ready for service (RFS) in 2015, arriving ahead of another planned undersea system with connectivity to Ecuador – the South America Pacific Link (SAPL) – which has an RFS date of 2016. Ecuador is currently served by two ageing submarine cable systems, the consortium Pan American (PAN-AM) which was launched in 1999, and the Telefonica-owned South America-1 (SAm-1) cable, in operation since 2001.

Landlocked Paraguay is considering rolling out infrastructure through Brazil’s Parana state to connect to one of the planned transatlantic submarine cables landing in its South American neighbour. According to a statement posted on the website of Paraguayan telecoms regulator Conatel, the Inter-American Development Bank is willing to facilitate negotiations with Brazilian authorities and provide technical assistance on the project. Under Conatel’s proposed blueprint, the project is expected to take one year to implement, and Paraguay hopes to have laid the cable by early-2016.

The management team of the Southern Cross Cable Network has extended the shelf-life of the subsea system by five years, from 2025 until 2030, reports, amid suggestions that there is a year-end deadline for a rival network to proceed. Chief executive Anthony Briscoe noted that, after a year-long consultation process that included advice from the cable’s original supplier Alcatel-Lucent, the ‘clear advice’ suggests that the cable will be fully functional until ‘at least 2030’. As a result, Southern Cross’s seven largest customers have all agreed to extend their contracts with the company until that date, potentially weakening the business case for a rival trans-Pacific cable. The Southern Cross cable, which was certified RFS in November 2000, connects Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Hawaii and the US west coast.

China Unicom has completed the deployment of a 1,500km fibre-optic link from the province of Yunnan in southwest China, to Ngwe Saung Beach in the Irrawaddy Delta of Myanmar. Deployment of the USD50 million cable began in 2011, and currently runs from Ruili and Muse on the Chinese/Myanmar border to the coast, via Mandalay and Yangon. The fibre-optic link will connect to the new SEA-ME-WE 5 cable when the new submarine system goes live in 2016.

Tokyo-based KVH Co, previously known as KVH Telecom, has selected Z-series packet-optical transport systems and a software-defined networking (SDN) platform from Cyan to upgrade backhaul links for a pair of submarine network cable landing stations in Japan. The upgrade comes as the undersea cable networks connected to the landing stations evolve to support 100Gbps wavelengths. The cable landing stations, in Chikura and Toyohashi, will now have 100Gbps backhaul capabilities to central Tokyo and Osaka. From the landing stations, these customers can be linked to more than 60 data centres and more than 120 points of presence (PoP) in the greater metropolitan areas of Tokyo and Osaka.

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