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

23 Oct 2015

Huawei Marine has revealed that it will deploy its titanium 6fp submarine Repeater 1660 on the proposed 5,900km submarine cable system – dubbed Cameroon-Brazil Cable System (CBCS) – linking Africa to South America. Utilising Huawei Marine’s 100G technology, the undersea cable system – which is scheduled to be ready for service (RFS) at the end of 2017 – will boast four fibre pairs and will have an initial system capacity of 32Tbps. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s Cable Compendium, earlier this month China Unicom general manager Yimin Lu inked a partnership agreement with David Nkoto Emane, the director general of Cameroon Telecommunications (CamTel), for the deployment of the submarine cable. The executive was cited as saying: ‘At present, when international data from mainland Africa transmits to America it is forced to divert to Western Europe first, before going to America. However, the CBCS will provide a direct route from Africa to America, as well as providing Cameroon, Brazil and other neighboring countries with a high capacity, reliable, fast transmission channel.’ Spanish telecoms group Telefonica will support the initiative by providing its international facilities and experience.

South Korean operator KT Corporation has been named as a coordinator of the New Cross Pacific (NCP) Cable System, which will directly connect China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the United States. Business Korea reports that the telco will commence operation of the 14,000km cable in December 2017. Oh Sung-mok, executive vice president of KT’s network division, was cited as saying: ‘KT will play a central role as a global traffic hub with a network operation centre (NOC) in Busan.’ The announcement comes roughly one year after KT opened another NOC in the same city to operate the Asia Pacific Gateway (APG), which will connect nine Asian nations when it enters services in 2016. As previously noted by TeleGeography’s Cable Compendium, a consortium of seven companies – including KT,China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, Chunghwa Telecom of Taiwan, Japan’s SoftBank Mobile and US-based Microsoft Corporation – signed a Construction and Maintenance Agreement and the Supply Contract for the planned NCP system in October 2014. TE SubCom was selected to construct the fibre-optic cable link.

High speed connectivity services on the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) international submarine fibre-optic cable were officially put into service in the Republic of Benin last week, at a ceremony hosted by the Ministry of Communications & ICT (MCICT). The launch came more than six months after the Cotonou landing station was connected to the ACE network, on 1 April 2015. The project to connect Benin to ACE was conducted under the Regional Communications Infrastructure Programme for West Africa (WARCIP), and reportedly cost USD35 million, funded by the International Development Agency (IDA) of the World Bank, the Beninese government and the local Benin ACE GIE consortium which is licensed to operate and manage access to the new submarine bandwidth. Benin ACE GIE consists of local mobile/fixed telecoms operators/ISPs, namely: MTN Benin, Moov Benin, Benin Telecoms/Libercom, Isocel, Espace Informatique Benin (EIT), Omnium des Telecommunications et de l’Internet (OTI) and Univercell. State-backed Benin Telecoms is also a direct member of the ACE cable consortium, led by France’s Orange Group.

Nigeria’s link to the SAT-3 submarine cable system – which was operated by Nigeria Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) – has reportedly been reactivated, following the re-launch of several of NITEL’s facilities by new owner NATCOM, Business Day reports. The 14,350km SAT-3/WASC cable – which stretches from Sesimbra (Portugal) to Melkbosstrand (South Africa) – was built by a consortium of 32 operators, including telecoms giants AT&T, Verizon, Orange Group, Telefonica and Deutsche Telekom, and entered commercial services in April 2002. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s Cable Compendium, the submarine cable link to Nigeria was cut in June 2013 during a land reclamation project, with NITEL said to have lost around USD6 million in revenues during the period in which the infrastructure was inactive.

Bangladesh’s State Minister for Post and Telecommunications Tarana Halim has revealed that the export of bandwidth to India – initially scheduled to start in August 2015 – will now commence in November, due to delays in setting up a cable connection across the border, bdnews24.com writes. Previously, Cable Compendium reported that Bangladesh Submarine Cable Co Limited (BSCCL) inked a deal with Indian telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) in June this year for the supply of 10Gbps of bandwidth to India’s north-eastern states for a period of three years. The terrestrial cable link will stretch from Cox’s Bazar landing station (Bangladesh) to Agartala, located in India’s state of Tripura, via Akhaura (Brahmmanbaria District).

Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co (PLDT) is planning to build a USD40 million submarine cable landing station in Mindanao, situated in the Maguindanao province, The Standard reports. PLDT’s executive vice president Eric Alberto revealed the new cable landing facility in Mindanao would be funded by a consortium of telecoms companies in the region. ‘We’re looking at variety of consortia with Indonesian, Brunei and Malaysian telcos that want to partner with us,’ Mr Alberto said.

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