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

27 Mar 2015

Construction work on Phase Five of the Central African Backbone (CAB) deployment (referred to as ‘CAB5’) was officially launched by the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) earlier this month, BizTech Africa reports. The five-year fibre-optic project is being funded by the World Bank, which approved a grant worth USD92.1 million back in July 2014. The CAB aims to link the DRC to a number of other countries in Central Africa, including Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, the Republic of Congo (Congo-Brazzaville), Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Sao Tome and Principe, Sudan and Burundi. The CAB5 project, which is scheduled to be completed by 31 December 2019, will be managed and supervised by DRC telecoms regulator, the Autorite de Regulation des Postes et Telecom (ARPTC).

Southern Cross Cables (SCC), the company which owns the 30,000km Southern Cross Cable Network (SCCN) system connecting Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii, has successfully completed arrangements with its seven largest customers – including six major internet service providers (ISP) in Australia and New Zealand – to supply them with international capacity for a further five years. SCC CEO Anthony Briscoe told Scoop: ‘Under the arrangement Southern Cross will scale up to around 10Tbps over the period to support our customers’ requirements. Putting this in context, this is equivalent to half the total capacity on the North Atlantic route. When you consider the population of Australia/New Zealand is only 10% of the USA/Canada, this represents a tremendous commitment by Southern Cross and the region’s major operators to the ongoing development of internet in the region.’ Further, Mr Briscoe added that over 98% of SCCN’s capacity users have already extended their existing commitments until 2030.

West African telecoms services provider Phase3 Telecom has announced plans to deploy aerial fibre-optic infrastructure from the city of Kano in Nigeria through the state of Katsina (Nigeria) to Gazaoua, which is located in the Republic of Niger, IT News Africa writes. The 228km aerial link is expected to be completed within the coming months. Phase3 Telecom CEO Stanley Jegede has claimed that broadband is critical to the acceleration of sustainable socio-economic inclusion and growth for landlocked Niger. The new aerial fibre-optic link will provide the country with its first backbone connection to Nigeria’s submarine landing point in Lagos.

Russian mobile giant MegaFon and Georgian telecoms operator SilkNet have directly interconnected the two countries by deploying a 37km border crossing link along the Upper Lars-Kazbegi route, ComNews.ru reports. The new fibre-optic link has an initial design capacity of 100Gbps. No financial details regarding the project have been disclosed.

US-based optical networking solutions provider Xtera Communications, in cooperation with the State Grid Information & Telecommunication (SGIT) Company, has demonstrated 100G and 10G transmissions over 607km and 632km links, respectively, by combining Xtera’s Wise Raman optical amplification solution and Corning Incorporated’s Vascade EX2000 optical fibre solution. Xtera’s Wise Raman technology increases the optical span length by turning some parts of the line fibre into an amplification medium. Xtera claims that ‘ultra-long, low-capacity unrepeatered transmission systems provide a cost-effective and simpler-to-operate solution over a repeated solution for many applications, including subsea links connecting sparsely populated islands and communication links to offshore oil and gas platforms, and over power utility grids in remote areas’.

Alcatel-Lucent and Chuan Wei have revealed that they will deploy Cambodia’s first 100G fibre-optic data network as the country works towards meeting the increasing demand for broadband access. The French-US vendor is building a 100G dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM)/optical transport network (OTN) for Chuan Wei using its 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS) platform, which will provide the operator with capacity while paving the way for 400G capacity in the future. At the same time, the nationwide DWDM network will connect to a submarine cable landing station in the coastal city of Sihanoukville.

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