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

31 Jul 2015

Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks (ASN) and Quintillion Subsea Holdings have entered into a contract for the design and construction of a submarine cable system linking Prudhoe Bay and Nome in Alaska. ASN will be responsible for the project on a turnkey basis, from system design to installation and commissioning. The system will consist of three fibre pairs (with a capacity of at least 10Tbps per pair), capable of carrying 100 wavelengths, each of which can support 100Gbps of data capacity. Phase 1 of the project will comprise a 1,850km segment linking the Alaskan communities of Nome, Kotzebue, Wainwright, Point Hope, Barrow and Prudhoe Bay and will provide for future extensions to Asia and Europe. Scheduled for completion by the end of 2016, Phase 1 will incorporate advanced routing and burial techniques to protect the cable and enhance the integrity of the system. The ASN technical solution will be based on system architecture using armoured OALC-4 cable, advanced coherent multi-terabit technology with optical add-drop multiplexing capabilities, and a configuration that will facilitate future ultra-low latency expansion to Japan and Western Europe.

Russia is planning to deploy a new fibre-optic submarine cable across the Kerch Strait, linking the Taman Peninsula with the Crimean Peninsula, A newly signed executive order prepared by the Ministry of Telecom & Mass Communications (Minsvyaz) has approved subsidies for the project covering the period between 2015 and 2017; the development forms part of a new federal programme entitled ‘Socioeconomic Development of the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol 2020’. The proposed submarine system will have a design capacity of 200Gbps.

Elsewhere, Russian operator Rostelecom has commenced the deployment of a fibre-optic submarine cable, which aims to cross the Okhotsk Sea and connect the Kamchatka, Sakhalin and Magadan regions; the rollout will be handled by Chinese equipment vendor Huawei. The section stretching between Magadan and Okha is scheduled to be ready for service (RFS) by September 2015, while the Okha-Ust-Bolsheretsk stretch is due for completion by December this year; the whole system is scheduled to enter commercial operation in June 2016. The new cable will stretch 2,000km and have a total capacity of 400Gbps, with the option to expand this to up to 8Tbps in the future.

Hibernia Networks has announced that the Hibernia Express cable – which it claims is the first trans-Atlantic submarine build in over twelve years – is just weeks away from going live. The Hibernia Express, tentatively scheduled to be RFS in the summer of 2015, will initially launch with 100Gbps transmission capacity using TE SubCom’s C100 SLTE platform. The cable will comprise six fibre-pairs, with a portion of the fibre optimised for the lowest latency, and a portion optimised for 100Gbpsx100Gbps capacity. The total cross-sectional design capacity of the cable will be more than 53Tbps.

Angola Cables has signed a contract with the Brazilian municipality of Fortaleza to construct a data centre and a submarine cable landing station in the coastal city, Teletime reports. The site will host the South Atlantic Cable System (SACS), which will connect Luanda (Angola) to Fortaleza, and will also serve a number of other affiliated cable systems that are under construction by Angola Cables, including the Monet system, which will link the cities of Santos and Fortaleza in Brazil with Miami, US in Q2 2016. The partnership will also provide for the construction of an extension of the SACS network to the US and Sao Paulo, Brazil. The project will require total investment of approximately USD300 million, and is expected to be RFS in the first quarter of 2017.

The Mariana-Guam Cable, the sole submarine network linking the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) with Guam, has been fully repaired. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s Cable Compendium, Pacific Telecom, the parent company of CNMI’s main telecoms provider IT&E, reported a fault in the system earlier this month, stating that the failure is most likely ‘a result of the recent passing of Typhoon Chan-Hom through the Mariana Islands’. Pacific Telecom’s chief executive officer Jim Oehlerking disclosed that his company will continue working with the repair company over the next 30 days in order to secure the cable and prevent outages in the future. The USD14 million fibre-optic cable, which stretches 240km between Guam, Rota, Tinian and Saipan, replaced an overloaded inter-island microwave system in 1997.

Chinese vendor Huawei is set to deploy a 4,000km fibre-optic cable in Guinea over the next two years, reports Reuters, citing a statement from the Guinean presidency. The project, launched earlier this week, is expected to be completed in 2017. As noted by TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in January 2013 telecoms minister Oye Guilavogui secured a USD350 million loan from the Chinese government for the construction of a national fibre backbone project, with Huawei winning the rollout contract following an international tender, having entered the lowest bid of USD238 million.

Finally, Zayo Group Holdings has completed a dark fibre route between the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) data centre facility in Mahwah, New Jersey and *Equinix*’s International Business Exchange (IBX) data centre, situated outside of New York City. The completed route spans 37.7km, thus making it shortest, lowest latency fibre route currently available between the two locations. The route provides financial institutions with the reliable, high-bandwidth and high speed connectivity required to transport critical financial data.

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