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

3 Jul 2015

The 17,000km Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) international submarine cable, which is currently in the second phase of its rollout, has landed in Cotonou (Benin) and Tenerife, in the Canary Islands (Spain). Following the deployments, the USD700 million cable, which is being built by an Orange Group-led consortium, now serves 18 countries, with landing stations in France, Portugal, the Canary Islands, Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Sao Tome and Principe. Two landlocked countries, Mali and Niger, are connected via a terrestrial extension. By the end of the second phase of the construction process, the ACE cable will be extended to South Africa, with planned branches to Cameroon (which recently signed an agreement that formalises its entry into the ACE consortium), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Angola and Namibia.

Brazilian state-owned telecoms infrastructure provider Telebras has signed an agreement with Spain’s IslaLink to launch and operate a new submarine cable, tentatively called eulaLink, which will link Lisbon (Portugal) with Fortaleza (Brazil). The proposed cable will have more than 30Tbps of design capacity and will require investment of USD185 million. Telebras will have a 35% stake in the project, while IslaLink will hold 45%; the remaining 20% will be owned by a yet-to-be identified Brazilian shareholder. The new 5,875km cable is scheduled to be ready for service (RFS) by early 2018. As reported by TeleGeography’s Cable Compendium last month, the European Commission (EC) will invest around EUR25 million (USD28 million) in the new cable via the Building Europe Link to Latin America (BELLA) project, which was put forward by European research network DANTE and its Latin American counterpart RedCLARA.

US-based Level 3 Communications has launched a fibre-optic branch cable linking Columbia to the South American Crossing (SAC) submarine system, domestic newspaper El Pais reports. The cable’s landing station in located in the city of Cali, with the terrestrial segment of the cable meanwhile constructed in partnership with local telco Empresas Municipales de Cali (EmCali). According to company officials, the domestic telco has deployed 102km of fibre-optic infrastructure to support the SAC cable (out of the required 137km). However, the source was quoted as saying: ‘The [deployment] of the [remaining] 35km has been delayed, pending the complaint on behalf of the communities in the area, as they are asking for very high compensation, even though the Home Office said we do not need prior consultations for this work.’ 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).

Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) has reported a fault in the 20,000km SEA-ME-WE-4 submarine cable, which stretches from Marseille (France) to Tuas (Singapore). The rupture, which occurred in the Arabian Sea near Karachi (Pakistan), was repaired shortly after.

Brazilian metropolitan fibre and data centre services provider Ascenty is now offering corporate customers access to cloud computing infrastructure, which can also be used for contingency and backup, from its new data centre in Maracanau, which is located in the metropolitan region of Fortaleza in the state of Ceara. Along with the new unit, the company inaugurated 150km worth of fibre-optic infrastructure to connect the new data centre to telecoms networks in the region, and also to link to submarine cables landing in Fortaleza.

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