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

19 Feb 2016

Abdourahman Mohamed Hassan, the director general of Djibouti Telecom, has revealed that the Asia-Africa-Europe 1 (AAE-1) submarine cable has landed in Djibouti, local newspaper La Nation writes. The 25,000km AAE-1 submarine cable system – with a design capacity of 40Tbps – will connect Asia, the Middle East, East Africa and Europe, and is scheduled to be ready for service (RFS) in Q4 2016. Another in-deployment submarine cable – the SeaMeWe-5 – meanwhile is expected to land in the country in March 2016. The 20,000km fibre-optic network will run from Singapore to France and is scheduled to launch in November 2016. Meanwhile, Djibouti Telecom is leading a consortium of operators to build a regional cable called Djibouti Africa Regional Express (DARE), which will link Djibouti with Yemen, Somalia and Kenya. Planning for DARE is now reportedly at an advanced stage, with the signing of the Construction and Maintenance Agreement (CMA) and the awarding of the supply contract expected to take place in March 2016.

Global Marine Systems has completed the installation of a 380km extension to the Asia Submarine-cable Express (ASE) system, which connects Japan to the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. The new section stretches from the southern tip of the Japanese island of Okinawa to an existing branching unit of the 7,200km ASE cable.

Construction work on a fibre-optic cable project aiming to connect Asia and Europe via the Arctic will commence in June, with plans for the deployment to be completed within three and a half months, Alaska Dispatch News reports. The Alaskan portion of the project – dubbed Alaska System and led by Anchorage-based Quintillion Networks – will comprise a terrestrial link from Fairbanks to Prudhoe Bay (scheduled to be RFS in early 2017), while the subsea section will stretch from Prudhoe Bay along the North Slope and the Bering Strait coast to Nome with landing stations at Barrow, Wainwright, Point Hope and Kotzebue. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s Cable Compendium, in July 2015 Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks entered into a contract with Quintillion Subsea Holdings for the design and construction of the submarine cable system. At that time, Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks said it had started surveying and installation activities for the system. The project was originally led by Canadian telecoms firm Arctic Fibre, although Quintillion acquired the assets of that company in 2015. New York-based investment firm Cooper Investment Partners, meanwhile, is the lead investor.

A fault reported on the Maya-1 system between Cancun (Mexico) and Hollywood (Florida, US) on 16 February has affected internet services in the Cayman Islands, the Cayman Compass reports. Domestic telecoms regulator the Information and Communications Technology Authority (ICTA) said that ‘a lightning strike’ at Maya-1 cable terminal in Florida is the ‘possible cause’ of the hardware failure, while Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) and AT&T Inc worked together to resolve the issue. The fault was reportedly fixed shortly after it was detected.

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