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

27 Feb 2015

Level 3 Communications is planning to extend the reach of its South American Crossing (SAC) submarine cable, by deploying an additional fibre-optic segment to Colombia, according to a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) filing. The new cable section will be inserted between the existing ‘Segment H’ cable stub and a newly established landing point to be constructed in Punta Bazan, Buenaventura. The new spur will have initial capacity of 400Gbps with a design capacity of 4.5Tbps. Level 3 Colombia will own the new landing station in Buenaventura. The SAC cable system, which is managed on a non-common carrier basis by Level 3’s subsidiary Global Crossing Telecommunications (GCT), links St Croix (US Virgin Islands) with Fortaleza (Rio de Janeiro), Santos (Brazil), Las Toninas (Argentina), Valparaiso (Chile), Lurin (Peru) and Fort Amador (Panama). GCT will continue to own the cable station in St Croix and the portion of SAC extending from St Croix to a point one-half mile beyond the limit of the US territorial sea, while the remaining portions of SAC in international waters or in the territorial seas of Argentina, Brazil, Panama, and Peru will be owned by other indirect subsidiaries of Level 3 Communications.

Following the inking of a Construction and Maintenance Agreement (C&MA), Turk Telekom International (TTI) has formalised its participation in the SEA-ME-WE-5 cable consortium, which aims to roll out a new 20,000km international fibre-optic route with a design capacity of 24Tbps. SEA-ME-WE-5 is scheduled to be ready for service (RFS) by the end of 2016, linking 18 countries in south-east Asia, the Middle East and western Europe.

The government of Guinea-Bissau is said to be in the process of negotiating the country’s connection to an as-yet-unnamed transatlantic submarine cable system, Portuguese news agency Lusa reports, citing sources familiar with the matter. Telecom service providers in the African nation currently use indirect links through other countries for bandwidth. Elsewhere, Sao Tome and Principe’s prime minister Patrice Trovoada has reportedly expressed an interest in connecting the island nation via a fibre-optic submarine cable to Equatorial Guinea, adding that the project could be implemented in the short-term.

The Lagos State government and Nigerian Telecommunications (NITEL) have agreed to cooperate on the repair of the South Atlantic 3/West Africa Submarine Cable (SAT-3/WASC) system, which was cut in June 2013 during a land reclamation project, domestic news source Nigeria Communications Week has reported. According to an unnamed source, the local government has finally agreed to work with the telecoms company to ensure that the infrastructure is back in service, with the cable link scheduled to be switched on within the next three months. NITEL reportedly lost around USD6 million in revenue during the period in which the infrastructure was inactive.

US-based service provider CenturyLink has completed a 1Tbps trial over part of its fibre network in central Florida, leveraging Ciena’s 6500 packet-optical platform equipped with its WaveLogic 3 16 QAM-based coherent optics. Composed of 200Gbps wavelengths packed closely together, the super channel more than doubled the network’s traffic carrying capacity during the trial. Spectral efficiency gains were achieved by using Ciena’s WaveLogic 3 based 16QAM coherent modulation, WaveLogic 3 spectral shaping and Flexible Grid technologies. Going forward, CenturyLink is aiming to enhance the speeds of its metropolitan, long-haul and core networks to 100G and enable future support for 400G speeds.

Tenerife Island Council (Cabildo Insular de Tenerife) has built a high-capacity fibre-optic network in the Canary Islands based on Transmode’s TM-Series and TG-Series platforms, in order to connect all its facilities and to provide high-capacity access to D-Alix’s strategic hub in the south of the island, which provides international connectivity via submarine cables to Africa and the rest of the world. The first stage of the deployment process will connect 38 sites in a metro network with multiple rings, allowing each of the council departments to connect to a high-speed LAN over a 40-wavength flexible optical network controlled by Transmode’s Enlighten multi-layer management suite. Meanwhile, Enlighten eco-system partner and Transmode sales partner APFUTURA has provided its APEX outside plant management tool to help map the network layout.

Transition Networks, a wholly owned subsidiary of Communications Systems, has unveiled its ION 4110 protocol-independent fibre-to-fibre repeater, which supports data rates from 1Gbps to 11.5Gbps, LightWave Online reports. The ION 4110 unit will allow operators to extend the reach of their high-speed fibre backbone networks without the need to upgrade the fibre-optic cabling.

An International Network Management Centre (INMC) has been inaugurated in Brusubi (Gambia) by domestic operator Gambia Telecommunications Company (Gamtel), in collaboration with MGI Telecom. News source Foroyaa cites Gamtel’s managing director Baboucarr Sanyang as saying that the centre will serve as a hub for the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable, and manage services for any operators connecting to the network.

The US military is currently building a USD31 million fibre-optic cable link between its naval base in Cuba’s Guantanamo Bay and Florida, which is scheduled to be RFS by the end of this year, Nearshore Americas reports. Going forward, the cable is likely to be extended to mainland Cuba in order to improve telecoms connectivity in the under-served country.

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