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

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27 Nov 2015

The in-deployment SeaMeWe-5 fibre-optic submarine cable – which will link the Middle East with South East Asia and Western Europe when completed – has landed at Dumai (Indonesia), the Jakarta Globe reports. The country’s link to the subsea cable will be managed by PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom), which is a member of the SeaMeWe-5 consortium, comprising a total of 19 international telecoms operators. The new 20,000km international link will have design capacity of 24Tbps and is scheduled to be ready for service (RFS) in November 2016. The SeaMeWe-5 cable will ultimately link a total of 15 countries, namely: Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, UAE, Oman, Qatar, Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, Italy and France.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a USD25 million grant for the deployment of a submarine cable between Samoa and Fiji, which will be operated by newly established, locally-owned Samoa Submarine Cable Company (SSCC). ADB’s grant, which has been sourced from ADB’s concessional Asian Development Fund, will be complemented by co-financing of USD16 million from the World Bank and USD1.5 million from Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, with SSCC providing USD8.18 million in equity; the government of Samoa will cover taxes and duties of USD6.73 million. The total project cost is estimated at USD57.4 million. The cable will span 1,300km and link Samoa’s largest islands of Upolu and Savai’i to the Southern Cross Cable Network (SCCN) in Suva, Fiji, and is scheduled to be completed by March 2017.

Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited (BSCCL) will start exporting 10Gbps of unused bandwidth to India’s north-eastern state of Tripura from 1 December, in line with a deal signed with Indian telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) in June this year, the Daily Star reports. BSCCL’s managing director Monwar Hossain disclosed that the terrestrial cable link – which stretches from Cox’s Bazar landing station (Bangladesh) to Agartala, located in Tripura, via Akhaura (Brahmmanbaria District) – was established on 16 November, while transmission tests commenced last Friday (20 November). The agreement will be in force for four years, with an option to increase the supplied bandwidth to 40Gbps, depending on Indian requirements; BSCCL will receive BDT96.0 million (USD1.2 million) a year under the deal.

Canadian business service provider Openface has agreed to acquire domestic networks provider Zerofail for an undisclosed sum. Zerofail specialises in outsourced IT infrastructure, fibre-optic networks and wireless connectivity and manages a data centre on Nun’s Island (Quebec). Post-merger, Openface will offer fibre-optic connectivity with downlink of up to 10Gbps, private networks, outsourced IT infrastructure, hosted business solutions and online backup. Openface CEO Andrew Lassner said: ‘We are practically doubling the company’s resources, both from a technological and a human resources standpoint, which allows us to provide even more value for clients and for Montreal businesses who require superior connectivity, high-quality telecommunications services and private networks.’

Also in Canada, Manitoba Telecom Services (MTS) has signed a binding agreement to sell its national long-distance and enterprise telecoms unit Allstream to US-based corporate and wholesale communications infrastructure provider Zayo Group in an all-cash CAD465 million (USD347.6 million) transaction. Zayo says that acquiring Allstream’s fibre and colocation assets will establish it as ‘the only Pan-US/Canada Communications Infrastructure provider’. Allstream has over 9,000 route kilometres of metro fibre concentrated in Canada’s top five metropolitan markets (Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa and Calgary) that connect to approximately 3,300 on-net buildings. In addition, Allstream has a 20,000 route kilometre long-haul fibre network connecting all major Canadian markets and ten US network access points, and also operates colocation space in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

UK-based Global Marine Systems has secured a contract from Ocean Networks Canada to upgrade the submarine infrastructure serving the NEPTUNE research observatory, comprising of an 800km fibre-optic loop connected to various nodes. The two-stage contract with Global Marine was signed in September: the first phase (completed in October 2015) saw the recovery of failed cables from the NEPTUNE system, while the second stage will involve the installation of new fibre-optic submarine cables, and is scheduled to commence in May 2016.

US communications provider Windstream has announced the expansion of its 500G long-haul core network to Miami (Florida) by deploying Infinera’s DTN-X terabit-class transport network platform, which delivers 100G coherent transmission capacity via 500G super-channels. 10G wave services are now available to more than 60 Points of Presence (PoPs) throughout Florida, including nearly 40 in the greater Miami metropolitan area. Going forward, by the end of 2015 Windstream is planning to provide services from 1Gbps to 100Gbps spanning 121,000 miles of fibre, with 100Gbps services available in 44 markets.

Lastly, PCCW Global, has demonstrated a new automated flexible bandwidth and compute services which will be rolled out commercially across the PCCW Global network in 2016.

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