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

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28 Aug 2015

Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks (ASN) and Ocean Networks are planning to extend the proposed South America Pacific Link (SAPL), which aims to connect Balboa (Panama) and Santiago (Chile) to Oahu in Hawaii, by adding a 3,000km fibre-optic branch to northern Florida. The new 100Gbps extension – dubbed SAPL Caribbean Express (SAPL CX) – will provide connectivity to the Network Access Point (NAP) of Americas in Miami (Florida) and will have a capacity of at least 10Tbps on each of its six fibre pairs. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s Cable Compendium, Ocean Networks selected Alca-Lu to build the 14,200km trans-Pacific SAPL cable system in May 2015. The fibre-optic network 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.

Meanwhile, Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks (ASN) and Telefonica are upgrading the PENCAN-7 and PENCAN-8 submarine cable systems with 100Gbps technology, which will offer a more than ten-fold increase of the current system capacity. The 1,400km PENCAN-7 system connects Chipiona in the Cadiz Province (Spain) to Las Palmas/Altavista in Gran Canaria (Canary Islands), while PENCAN-8 – also 1,400km in length – stretches from Conil (Cadiz Province) to Candelaria in Tenerife (Canary Islands). The two submarine cables are part of Telefonica’s PENCAN Network, which consists of four geographically diversified fibre-optic submarine cables: PENCAN-6, PENCAN-7, PENCAN-8 and PENCAN-9, and enables Telefonica to provide robust services between the Canary Islands and Spain. Maria Jesus Almazor, regional director for Southern Spain at Telefonica, said: ‘PENCAN submarine cable systems have a proven track record of operational excellence based on optimum network performance and further scalability via seamless upgrades. The additional capacity available with ASN’s advanced technology will contribute significantly in meeting the ongoing demand in the markets served by these systems.’

Intelligent transport networks provider Infinera has announced that a route outage on the Australia Japan Cable (AJC) submarine fibre-optic cable connecting Australia, Guam and Japan has recently been avoided, following the rapid recovery of network capacity on the system, which experienced a subsea cable fault in 7,000m-8,000m water depth. The fault affected services operating on the fibre-optic route between Maruyama (Japan) and Tumon Bay (Guam), including services based on the Infinera DTN-X and other vendor platforms. The Infinera team and AJC personnel rerouted over 400Gbps of traffic from the impacted AJC section to alternate paths on the AJC fibre-optic ring configuration within minutes, thus avoiding a route outage while the cable repair ship was mobilised.

Landline services in Libya were disrupted following reported damages to ‘submarine cables’, which land in an area held by the Islamic State, Reuters writes. The Ministry of Communications and Informatics (MCIT) was cited as saying that fixed telephony connections in the eastern and southern regions of the country stopped ‘due to deliberate acts against a submarine cable station in Sirte’, adding that a lack of security made it impossible to fix the damage. TeleGeography notes that currently only one cable – the 1,639km LFON (Libyan Fiber Optic Network), which stretches from Tobrok to Zwara (both in Libya) – has a landing station in Sirte, which is located on Libya’s Mediterranean coast.

US telco Windstream has selected Zayo Group’s data centre and colocation business zColo to deploy colocation infrastructure for Windstream at zColo facilities in New York City and Newark. The Windstream deployment was driven by Windstream’s 100G long haul express network expansion that upgraded and modernised its northeast regional and metropolitan dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) network. ‘zColo’s carrier-neutral environment and in-building connectivity in the region provides more connectivity options, flexibility and value for those connected and seeking to connect to Windstream’s network,’ said Steve Finnerty, vice president of sales at Zayo.

US-based vendor Ciena has upgraded its 5430 Packet-Optical Platform by adding new hardware and software capabilities designed to improve service velocity for high-bandwidth, on-demand applications. The upgraded 5430 provides up to 15Tbps of capacity to service provider, submarine and cable networks. The enhanced platform is currently being deployed by SK Telecom.

The ZAR1.2 billion (USD91 million) Gauteng Broadband Network – which is being rolled out by equipment provider Altech Alcom Matomo (AAM), a subsidiary of South African telecoms group Altech – has been extended to connect eight core nodes. The 10Gbps network consists of 4,500km of transmission fibre-optics and 80km of last-mile fibre cables, running through Johannesburg, Tshwane, Ekurhuleni, Sedibeng and the West Rand. By the end of 2015, Altech Alcom Matomo plans to connect 263 sites across Gauteng, including all provincial department buildings and several townships.

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