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

29 Jan 2016

C&W Networks, the submarine cable division of Cable & Wireless Communications, has selected Xtera Communications for the 100G upgrade of its submarine cable systems in the western Atlantic ocean and the Caribbean Sea. The vendor will deploy its Nu-Wave Optima multi-purpose optical networking platform. C&W Networks has bolstered its subsea network capacity by upgrading several unrepeatered and repeatered segments, including: the 1,570km Gemini Bermuda cable system connecting Bermuda with the east coast of the US, the 1,700km Caribbean-Bermuda US (CBUS) system (Bermuda-the British Virgin Islands), the 1,700km East-West system (Jamaica-the British Virgin Islands), the 1,440km festoon Eastern Caribbean Fiber System (ECFS), and a section of the 8,700km ARCOS-1 submarine ring. The same optical networking platform was used over the unrepeatered and repeatered segments, thus enabling a unified, seamless network from an operational perspective. For the upgrade of unrepeatered segments, advanced 100G optical channel technology combined with Xtera’s Wise Raman solution raised the capacity to ‘multi-Tbps’ level, even on the longest unrepeatered segments (approaching 400km spans).

Telecom Italia Sparkle has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Telecommunication Infrastructure Company of Iran (TIC) for the establishment of a new point of presence (PoP) in Iran, which will give it access to Seabone, TI Sparkle’s Tier1 Global IP Transit backbone. Alessandro Talotta, chairman and CEO of TI Sparkle, said: ‘TI Sparkle’s Seabone provides high grades of reliability and guaranteed service level agreements to the large community of local service providers of the region and will improve the user experience of Iranian customers.’

Cuba is reportedly interested in laying a submarine cable linking Havana with Miami (US), according to Daniel Sepulveda, the United States’ Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and Coordinator for International Communications and Policy Information. TeleSemana quotes the official as saying that the initiative would be useful in terms of redundancy, lower latency and in cases of emergency, adding that ‘communications would be much more efficient if they came from Miami, than if they come from Venezuela’. TeleGeography notes that Cuba is currently served by the 1,860km Alba-1 cable, which was built by Alcatel-Lucent and deployed in 2011.

Multiple cable faults in the last week have severely disrupted telecoms services across Africa and the Middle East. SEACOM disclosed to TechCentral that twin faults in Egypt – one on the Northern Trans-Egypt route between Cairo and Alexandria and the other on the Southern Trans-Egypt route on the outskirts of Cairo – knocked out its connectivity between Africa and Europe on 21 January. Both events were caused by civil construction activity and were promptly repaired. SEACOM services between Africa and Europe went offline again on 28 January, after new faults were reported in Egypt. ‘SEACOM is experiencing multiple outages on the terrestrial network across Egypt. All our international connectivity through Egypt has been affected’, the company said in a press release, adding that repair teams have already arrived on site. Meanwhile, an outage on a terrestrial link in the UK – which connects the West Africa Cable System (WACS) landing station in Highbridge (UK) with a data centre in London, led to a downtime along that route; the fault affecting the path was fixed on Thursday 28 January. Elsewhere, UAE-based telco Du has announced that repair work on three damaged submarine cables – EIG, FEA and Falcon – is currently underway, following multiple cable cuts near Egypt on 23 January. The company said: ‘As per the latest available information from the three affected submarine cable operators – EIG, FEA and Falcon – repair work is currently underway in full swing’, adding that it may take longer ‘to accomplish the full scope of the required work.’ The company highlighted that it has re-routed traffic through alternative paths while new cable paths were being added, and that the fault will have ‘no financial impact’ on the company.

US-based service provider Global Capacity has expanded its backbone network, dubbed One Marketplace, with a 72-mile diverse fibre-ring route in San Francisco (California). The operator disclosed that in the last eight months, it had lit over 210 miles of fibre across major metropolitan areas, including Dallas, Atlanta, Washington, New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco. Elsewhere, FirstLight Fiber added 36,000 fibre miles to its network footprint in the counties of Westchester, Rockland and Orange (all in New York), thus expanding its fibre-optic network to 260,000 fibre miles throughout New York, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, and Massachusetts.

Swedish operator Norrsken – which provides Layer 1 wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) and Layer 2 Ethernet services in the country – has selected Infinera to expand its network. The Infinera TM-Series enables Norrksen to deliver 100G multi-service transport services with low power, high density and bandwidth scalability. Norrsken’s network currently covers 58 towns and cities in eleven counties, including Stockholm.

Finally, ADVA Optical Networking and the City of Cape Town have transmitted multiple high-speed data rates, including 400Gbps, over Cape Town’s metro fibre-optic network between Nyanga and Mitchells Plain. The trial used in-place ADVA FSP 3000 infrastructure, augmented with the optical transport systems vendor’s CloudConnect 400Gbps technology.

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