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

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6 Feb 2015

A new submarine cable project which will directly connect China and the US, has been approved by China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), it has been announced. Tentatively called the New Crossing-Pacific (NCP) Cable System, the infrastructure will be jointly funded and constructed by China Telecom, China Unicom and China Mobile, with additional input from a number of as-yet unnamed companies. The 13,618km NCP cable, which will have a total capacity of 60Tbps, aims to ‘meet the growing demands for internet services in China, reduce international channel costs and enhance network security’. The ‘fishbone shaped’ submarine cable will land at Chongming Island and Nanhui (both situated within the municipality of Shanghai) and Taiwan, and will also connect directly with South Korea and Japan. The NCP cable is expected to be operational by 2018.

The Malta Communications Authority (MCA) is poised to carry out a feasibility study into whether there is a need for a new submarine cable to link the island to mainland Europe and beyond. Financed by European Union’s European Regional Development Cohesion Fund, the study aims to identify the best strategies for submarine cable deployments and compare the various models and recommendations for the optimal technical, commercial and financial solution, the MCA said. According to TeleGeography’s Submarine Cable Map, the island is currently connected to the World Wide Web via the 238km Italy-Malta link (lit in 1995), the Vodafone Malta-Sicily Cable System(VMSCS, July 2004), the GO-1 Mediterranean Cable System (December 2008) and Melita-1 (June 2009).

Czech telecoms operator Dial Telecom has completed an expansion project of its dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) route, which links Frankfurt (Germany) and Cesky Tesin (Czech Republic) to Krakow (Poland) via Bialsko-Biala (Poland). The fibre route allows signal transmissions of up to 100Gbps on the 1,360km link between Krakow and Frankfurt, with latency of below eight milliseconds (ms). The route also allows DWDM termination in Prague. Further, access points on the operator’s Ethernet/IP/MPLS network were built in Bialsko-Biala and Krakow for the provision of packet services.

International bandwidth infrastructure provider Zayo Group has announced that it plans to extend its European long-haul network offering by providing customers with 1G, 10G and 100G waves to Dublin, Ireland and three new UK cities – Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol. The extension will enable Zayo to provide multiple direct connectivity options from Dublin to other parts of the UK, with links from Dublin to other key European connectivity hubs (Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Paris) and to its US backbone to follow. The project is expected to be completed in June 2015, with the link to Manchester scheduled to be lit by end-February.

NAPAfrica claims that it is on target to reach its goal of becoming one of Africa’s largest internet exchange points (IXP) by achieving a throughput of 20Gbps with more than 180 members. The IXP is managed by South African independent data-centre operator Teraco Data Environments, which operates three neutral data-centres in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg. Teraco CEO Lex van Wyk commented: ‘We are aggressively expanding our footprint in sub-Saharan Africa and remain confident that we will exceed 20Gbps within the next quarter’. As reported by TeleGeography’s Cable Compendium last week, Teraco increased its medium-term borrowing facility to ZAR400 million (USD34.67 million); the new financing, together with internally generated funds, is earmarked for continuing Teraco’s investments into data-centre infrastructure rollouts. Teraco is also planning to build a second data-centre in Johannesburg to complement its existing site in Isando; construction of the new 4,000 square metre facility will commence in 2015.

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