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

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2 Apr 2015

The South-East Asia-United States (SEA-US) consortium has announced that construction work on the submarine cable system, which aims to directly connect Indonesia and the United States, has started. NEC Corporation and NEC Corporation of America have been selected as the system suppliers for the 15,000km cable, which is valued at USD250 million. The cable system will land at Manado (Indonesia), Davao (Philippines), Piti (Guam), Oahu (Hawaii, US) and Los Angeles (California, US). When completed in the fourth quarter of 2016, the cable will provide an additional 20Tbps capacity, connecting Indonesia and the Philippines to the US with 100Gbps technology. The SEA-US consortium comprises of Telekomunikasi Indonesia International (Telin), Globe Telecom, RAM Telecom International (RTI), Hawaiian Telcom, Teleguam Holdings (GTA), GTI Corporation (a member of the Globe Telecom group of companies) and Telkom USA.

International infrastructure provider Zayo Group Holdings has rolled out 100G capability across its metropolitan grids in London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Paris. The project, finalised in Q1 2015, will enable Zayo to deliver a seamless, low-latency service across its metro, national and European footprint. The upgrade involved ‘the consolidation of a large number of legacy point-to-point wavelength connections into single coherent 100G lineside capacity, increasing spectral efficiencies and reducing physical footprint and power requirements’. The upgrade of Zayo’s London metro grid was completed at the end of 2014, while the 100G solution was rolled out in other European metro areas – including Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Paris – in 1Q15.

Facebook has deployed *Infinera*’s Intelligent Transport Network to light what is claimed to be ‘the world’s longest terrestrial optical network route capable of delivering up to 8Tbps of data transmission capacity’. The new route spans 3,998km and has been deployed without any regeneration. Facebook’s European terrestrial network stretches from its data centre in Lulea (Sweden) across major hubs throughout Europe. It offers 100Gbps coherent transmission via 500Gbps super-channels, enabled by photonic integrated circuits (PICs), and has a forward-scale design to support the introduction of 1.2Tbps super-channels in the future. The PICs enable Infinera’s DTN-X platform to integrate wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) super-channel transmission with up to 12Tbps of non-blocking optical transport network switching. Niclas Comstedt, Director of Network Engineering at Facebook, explained: ‘The Infinera Intelligent Transport Network makes it easy for us to rapidly grow network capacity while keeping operations simple … Once the equipment is in place we are able to turn up as many Terabits as we need.’

South Sudan’s Minister of Telecommunication and Postal Services, Rebecca Joshua Okwaci, has said that the country aims to connect to an international submarine cable system within the next two years. According to Reuters, the government is aiming to deploy a 1,600km fibre-optic link across the country and through Uganda, in order to connect the country with one of the two major international submarine cables that currently land in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. TeleGeography notes that landlocked South Sudan currently has no connection to an international cable, as previous efforts to extend beyond the border into Uganda were put on hold by the civil war; the country currently has to rely on slow and expensive satellite links for its international bandwidth.

The Indian government is planning an overhaul of its ambitious National Optic Fibre Network (NOFN) project, and has renamed it BharatNet, the Economic Times reports. BharatNet will subsume all ongoing and proposed network-related projects, which is expected to cost a total of INR720.0 billion (USD11.6 billion). TeleGeography notes that the NOFN project aims to connect 250,000 Gram Panchayats (villages/small towns) via 600,000km of fibre-optic cabling in order to provide broadband access to rural regions, while also acting as the country’s fibre backbone.

Following the inking of a new partnership with Telecom Italia’s international arm TI Sparkle, DE-CIXwill establish an internet exchange (IX) in TI Sparkle’s next generation data centre in Palermo, Sicily. The new node will be based on DE-CIX’s APOLLON platform, and will allow carriers that land their IP backbones in Sicily to directly interconnect with one other and to other providers that have a presence in the facility. The data centre is connected to all cable landing stations in Sicily and is served by the TI Sparkle’s Global IP Transit Service *Seabone*’. Alessandro Talotta, TI Sparkle CEO, commented: ‘Our partnership with DE-CIX and their new IX node in our Sicily Hub is the most important milestone in the creation of a massive IP gravitational centre in the middle of the Mediterranean … We will be able to better serve [internet service providers] in the area, including Africa and the Middle East, by bringing worldwide content directly to their doorsteps.’

Paris-based Alcatel-Lucent and French cargo vessel firm Louis Dreyfus Armateurs (LDA) have renewed their long term partnership by streamlining their cable ship operations. Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks (ASN) will take full ownership of ALDA Marine and its fleet, while LDA will remain ASN’s long term partner for cable ship management and fleet development. Due to the collaboration, ASN claimed to have positioned itself ‘as one of the two leading turnkey players’ in the field of subsea telecom cable systems. ASN’s president Philippe Dumont said: ‘As we enter in an upward cycle of submarine cables construction, streamlining operations provides a simpler governance model, ensures the excellence of our marine operations and delivers a financial benefit to the company.’

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