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

8 May 2015

Ocean Networks, the owner and developer of the South America Pacific Link (SAPL) submarine cable, has selected Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks (ASN) to build the 14,200km trans-Pacific cable system linking Balboa, Panama and Santiago (Chile) to Oahu in Hawaii. The 100Gbps undersea system will have design capacity of 10Tbps on each of its three fibre pairs and will have branching units to Manta (Ecuador), Lima (Peru), Arica (Chile) and the big island of Hawaii. Thanks to its point of presence (PoP) in Hawaii, SAPL will also provide a diverse route to the US West Coast and a low latency route from Central and South America to the Asia-Pacific region, in particular to Australia and New Zealand. Ocean Networks’ CEO Scott J. Schwertfager, said: ‘This project is very significant as the SAPL system will fulfil a long-standing need of the markets of Central and South America for connectivity to the Asia-Pacific region by interconnecting with existing and planned submarine cable systems. The collaboration with Alcatel-Lucent and the deployment of their leading-edge subsea cable system technology will enable us to foster cost-effective high-speed broadband connectivity in the region.’

TE SubCom has revealed that upgrades are currently underway to increase the capacity of the Southeast Asia-Japan Cable (SJC)system – which links Brunei, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the Philippines, and includes the option to connect with Thailand – by 3.6Tbps while utilising 100Gbps coherent transmission, with work scheduled to be completed by end-November 2015. The SJC cable system began service in June 2013 and is owned by a consortium comprising Brunei International Gateway (BIG), China Mobile International (CMI), China Telecom, China Telecom Global (CTG), Donghwa Telecom (DHT, a subsidiary of Chunghwa Telecom), Globe Telecom, Google, KDDI Corporation, Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SingTel), PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia International (Telin, a subsidiary of Telekomunikasi Indonesia) and Thai state-owned telco TOT. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s Cable Compendium, SJC’s project supplier TE SubCom previously upgraded the system in May 2014, by increasing the system’s capacity by 6.5Tbps.

In a bid to develop fibre-optic network which stretches from Sabang in the Aceh Province, which is located in the northern end of Sumatra (Indonesia), to Merauke (Papua province, Indonesia), state-owned telco Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom) is planning to deploy a 345km fibre-optic system, called Luwuk Tutuyan Cable System (LTCS), which will connect East Sulawesi and North Sulawesi. The Jakarta Globe cited Arief Abdus Somad, director of Network, Information Technology & Solutions at Telkom, as saying: ‘The construction of LTCS is part of the Indonesia Digital Network programme, through which Telkom would connect all parts of Indonesia with a network of fibre-optic cable infrastructure’. The executive was cited as saying that the cable system will be constructed by PT Sarana Global Indonesia and will be ready for service (RFS) in mid-June 2015. Meanwhile, Telkom is said to be making good progress on the Sulawesi Papua Maluku Cable System (SMPCS), which is scheduled to enter operation in early May 2015. The fibre-optic network stretches 76,700km from the Aceh Province to the islands of Papua, Sulawesi and Maluku in the eastern part of the country. ‘We are making every effort to ensure the Sulawesi Papua Maluku Cable System project is completed on time and we can start operating it this May. With the availability of the cable system, we could directly deploy our service, the Triple Play IndiHome in the eastern region of Indonesia’, Mr Somad said.

Finnish state-owned company Cinia Group is to build a 1,100km submarine cable – dubbed Sea Lion – aiming to connect Rostock in the north German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern to Finland’s capital Helsinki. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s Cable Compendium, the fibre-optic system is expected to be RFS in the spring of 2016 and will provide total transmission capacity of 15Tbps when completed. Cinia has signed a 20-year contract worth EUR10 million (USD11.2 million) with German-based data centre provider Hetzner Online to utilise the system.

Chile’s government will invest USD100 million in the Fiber Optic Austral (Fibre Optic South) programme, which will see the deployment of a 3,000km submarine cable linking Puerto Montt and Punta Arenas via the Aysen and Magallanes regions, according to Sub-Secretaria de Telecomunicaciones (Subtel) head Pedro Huichalaf. Diario Financiero cites the official as saying that the bidding rules for the cable deployment contract had already been approved by the Council for Development of Telecommunications (CDT) and will be submitted to the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic (CGR) in May/June 2015, with the award of the contract scheduled to take place in November.

The Equatorial Guinea government has entered into a joint venture (JV) agreement with GridlineXstreme (GXI), a wholly owned subsidiary of US-based Gridline Communications, for the implementation of a high-speed broadband network in the country, consistent with the government’s Horizon 2020 programme. The agreement will see the establishment of a JV – Gridline Africa – to be equally owned by GXI and the state; the company will be tasked with the ownership and operation of the broadband communications network, which includes data centres and network infrastructure.

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