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

20 Feb 2015

A pair of submarine cable cuts in close proximity to Tata’s Mumbai Cable Landing Station (Mumbai CLS) have reportedly affected internet connectivity throughout India, the Indian Express reports. According to the unconfirmed report, several major international cable systems have been affected by the damage, including Tata Global Network-Intra Asia Cable System (TGN-IA)and India-Middle East-Western Europe (I-ME-WE). The TGN-IA cable fault is located approximately 110km from the coast of Mumbai, with traffic on the Jeddah-Zafrana segment also affected by the cut. Meanwhile, the I-ME-WE cable fault is reportedly located 78km from Tata’s Mumbai CLS. While the cable operators have yet to officially acknowledge the issues, it is believed that repair work on the cable breaks will commence on 26 February.

Australia’s Vocus Communications is set to purchase additional capacity on the Southern Cross Cable Network (SCCN), the 30,000km submarine cable system connecting Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii, for USD58.5 million. The purchase will increase Vocus’ existing capacity by up to ten times and allow the company to leverage the high growth in data demand from the wholesale and enterprise sectors. Vocus Communications CEO James Spenceley said that capacity will be allocated and paid in annual instalments over a six-year period, beginning in December 2015.

Officials from the Republic of Congo and Turkey are set to collaborate on the deployment of the Central African Backbone (CAB) project, which aims to link Congo to a number of other countries in Central Africa, BizTech Africa reports. At talks held in Brazzaville between Can Incesu, the Turkish Ambassador to Congo, and telecoms minister Thierry Moungalla, the former reportedly disclosed that Turkish companies ‘are more than ready’ to bring their telecoms expertise to facilitate the speedy implementation of the CAB programme. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s Cable Compendium in November 2014, the first phase of the CAB will cover the link between Pointe-Noire and the Gabonese border, via the Congolese towns of Dolisie (in the western province of Niari) and border town Mbinda; the fibre-optic cable is understood to be under construction. Going forward, work on phase two of the rollout will commence in the first quarter of 2015.

Japan’s KVH Corporation has conducted a field trial for 400Gbps data transmission over its existing fibre-optic infrastructure between Tokyo and Osaka, using equipment provided by Ciena. The trial utilised Ciena’s 6500 Packet-Optical Platform, with KVH deploying two sets of Ciena 200Gbps coherent optical transponders equipped with Ciena’s WaveLogic 3 coherent optical processors. The field trial confirmed sustained data transmission speeds of 400Gbps (dual carrier DP-16QAM) across a span of 660km between KVH’s Tokyo network node and its Osaka network node. This trial required no signal regeneration and was carried out alongside multiple existing 100Gbps signals (DP-QPSK), which were supporting live customer traffic.

Paris-based equipment vendor Alcatel-Lucent has launched a one-port 400Gbps IP line card, which will reportedly offer operators the ability to quadruple the speed of connections and significantly boost capacity between datacentres and networks. The new IP line card, which is powered by Alca-Lu’s FP3 400G routing processor, provides what the vendor claims to be ‘the communications industry’s first clear channel 400G capability’. Further, Alca-Lu will add its Generalised Multiprotocol Label Switching User Network Interface (GMPLS UNI) to its IP router portfolio in H2 2015; the new technology will enable operators to coordinate the IP and optical network layers for simplified operations and cost savings.

Submarine cable provider Huawei Marine has showcased its ‘Super 100G’ solution at the WDM & Next Generation Optical Networking Africa summit in Cape Town. The Super 100G solution includes high-integrated 100G, metro 100G and submarine 100G capabilities.

Caribbean IXP, which is backed by the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), the Caribbean Network Operators Group and Packet Clearing House, has unveiled plans to build a data centre hosting facility at the Tamana Industrial Park in Trinidad & Tobago, with roughly USD40 million to be invested in the project. Once built, the Tier III facility will closely resemble *Verizon*’s Network Exchange Point (NEP) data centre in Miami (US) which offers backbone access to 160 global carriers. Access to low-cost energy and multiple submarine cable systems were cited as the main factors behind Caribbean IXP’s decision to choose the twin-island country, in addition to Trinidad & Tobago’s geographical location, which is just outside of the Caribbean’s ‘hurricane path’.

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