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

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17 Apr 2015

Colombian telco Claro, which is backed by Mexican telecoms giant America Movil, has launched commercial services over the AMX-1 submarine cable system, newspaper El Universal writes. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s Cable Compendium, AMX-1 landed in Cancun (Mexico) in December 2013 and was put into service shortly after. The 17,800km submarine cable was built by Alcatel-Lucent and is designed for 100G capacity. It links North and Central America to the southern tip of South America, with connection points in Miami and Jacksonville (US), Barranquilla and Cartagena (Colombia), Fortaleza, Salvador and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Puerto Plata (Dominican Republic), Cancun (Mexico), San Juan (Puerto Rico) and Puerto Barrios (Guatemala). Aside from AMX-1, a number of international submarine cables land on Colombian shores, namely ARCOS, PAN-AM, CFX-1, Maya-1, SAm-1, GlobeNet and SAC/LAN.

Bangladesh’s Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications & Information Technology and the Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited (BSCCL) have signed a contract with the SEA-ME-WE-5 consortium, formalising the participation of the country in the planned undersea cable system, the Daily Star reports. Monwar Hossain, managing director of BSCCL, revealed that the country will invest USD72.5 million to land the country’s second submarine cable in Kuakata (situated in Patuakhali district), with USD19.2 million already paid by BSCCL. The government is set to take a USD44 million loan from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) in order to fund its involvement, payable in ten years after a three-year grace period. The proposed SEA-WE-ME-5 international fibre-optic route has a design capacity of 24Tbps and 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 new undersea system will be built by Alcatel-Lucent (Sri Lanka-France deployment) and Japan’s NEC Corporation (Singapore-Sri Lanka segment).

Submarine cable operator SEACOM has completed its fibre-optic link from Nairobi in Kenya to Kampala (Uganda) through Tororo (also in Uganda). AllAfrica writes that the operator is now able to carry some traffic from Kampala to South Sudan, with Seacom Regional Manager Joseph Muriithi cited as saying: ‘On the back of the Kampala connection, people are picking traffic from Kampala to deliver to South Sudan through the Gulu-Nimule border. It’s happening, although availability is lower than it should be.’ Further, the executive disclosed that links to Rwanda and Burundi are being served by the route between Kampala and Katuna (Uganda), which extends to Kigali (Rwanda).

Japan’s KVH Corporation has upgraded its fibre-optic backbone infrastructure between Tokyo, Singapore and Hong Kong on the Southeast Asia-Japan Cable (SJC) submarine system to 100G capacity and now offers its etherXEN (SDN-enabled Ethernet Service) and Global DCNet (pre-wired carrier-grade elastic Ethernet connectivity) solutions on the route. The upgrade allows KVH to provide improved cable diversity across the region, thus enhancing service resiliency and reliability in the event of a cable outage on one of the undersea networks.

INDATEL, a collaboration among wholesale carriers targeting rural and metropolitan parts of the US, will use Z-Series packet-optical transport platforms (P-OTP) and the Blue Planet software-defined networking (SDN) platform from Cyan to enable delivery of 100Gbps services. INDATEL members, many of whom are independent rural telecoms service providers, collectively operate the Rural Ethernet eXchange (REX), which leverages their 80,000 route miles of fibre-optic network infrastructure deployed across the US.

US-based service provider Global Capacity has expanded its backbone network, dubbed One Marketplace, with a metro fibre-optic ring in Dallas (US), while also launching Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) Virtual Private Network (VPN) service over the infrastructure.

French infrastructure provider Axione, part of the Bouygues Energies and Services group, has been awarded a contract by the Gabonese government to operate, maintain and market the country’s undersea and terrestrial fibre-optic networks. The network, which is currently under deployment, will eventually comprise a fibre spur running along the Transgabonnais railway network and linking the cities of Franceville and Libreville to the 1,140km African Coast Europe (ACE) submarine cable system. The network will also interconnect Koulamoutou, Lastourville, Franceville, Bongoville, Lekoni,Moanda, Bakoumba and Lekoko, before crossing the border to link with the Congo-Brazzaville fibre-optic network. In October 2014 ChinaCommunication Service International (CCSI), a subsidiary of China Telecom Group, won the contract to build out the network, with work scheduled to be completed within four years.

Australian telecoms group Telstra will begin to phase out the Pacnet brand after announcing the completion of its USD697 million takeover of the company this week. Telstra’s head of global enterprise and services Brendon Riley told investors the telco would now work to integrate Pacnet, with the brand being progressively retired. Pacnet’s 9,620km EAC Pacific cable connects the US to Japan, and its 36,800km EAC-C2C cable has landing points across eight countries in Asia, while Pacnet also boasts 110 points of presence globally.

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