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

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18 Mar 2016

Padtec has been selected by Google to manage and implement the deployment of a high-capacity submarine network, dubbed Junior, which will link the Brazilian cities of Rio de Janeiro and Santos. The 390km system – scheduled to begin operations in the second half of 2017 – will land at Praia da Macumba Beach (Rio de Janeiro) and Praia Grande Beach (Santos) and will enable interconnection with Google’s other terrestrial and submarine infrastructure in the region. The system will comprise eight fibre pairs and will utilise Padtec’s submarine optical line amplifiers and its optical integrated platform, LightPad i6400G SLTE. In Santos, the Junior system will interconnect with the proposed Tannat cable, which is to be developed by Google in cooperation with Antel Uruguay. The 2,000km cable – aiming to connect Maldonado in Uruguay with Santos (Brazil) – will comprise six fibre pairs, with a total design capacity of 90Tbps and will be completed by the end of 2017; the construction contract has been awarded to Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks (now part of Nokia).

Level 3 Communications has announced the commercial launch of a new 300km submarine cable branch linking the South American Crossing (SAC) system with a landing station in Buenaventura (Colombia), thus ending the country’s reliance on the Caribbean coast by giving Colombia a Pacific Ocean route to connect to its international network. The undersea fibre-optic cable interconnects with Level 3’s terrestrial system via a 154km fibre-optic cable running from Buenaventura to Cali. The system has a total installed capacity of 8Tbps, 400Gbps of which is already commercially available. The SAC cable system, which is managed on a non-common carrier basis by Level 3’s subsidiary Global Crossing Telecommunications (GCT), links Saint Croix (US Virgin Islands) with Fortaleza (Brazil), Santos (Brazil), Las Toninas (Argentina), Valparaiso (Chile), Lurin (Peru) and Fort Amador (Panama).

Elsewhere in Latin America, wholesale provider Internexa, a subsidiary of Colombia’s power utility Interconexion Electrica SA (ISA), has inked a deal with Telefonica to acquire rights to use dark fibre on the recently announced BRUSA submarine cable. The 11,000km fibre-optic network – aiming to link Rio de Janeiro and Fortaleza (both in Brazil) with San Juan (Puerto Rico) and Virginia Beach (Virginia, US) – is expected to be ready for service (RFS) in early 2018. The new deal builds on a similar agreement signed by the two companies in October 2015, under which Internexa acquired rights to use dark fibre on the PCCS and SAM-1 submarine cables linking Colombia and Brazil to the US. The new contract will extend the company’s fibre-optic reach to 60,000km. TeleGeography notes that Internexa currently presides over a South American network that runs across Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Brazil and Argentina.

DOCOMO Pacific, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NTT DOCOMO, has filed an application with US regulator, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), to land and operate a fibre-optic submarine cable system which will connect the unincorporated US territories of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) – specifically the islands of Saipan, Rota and Tinian. The ATISA cable will comprise six fibre pairs, with initial capacity of 100Gbps on the Guam-Saipan route (over three express fibre pairs) and 10Gbps on the other routes (Guam-Rota, Guam-Tinian, Rota-Tinian, Rota-Saipan and Tinian-Saipan) for total design capacity of 4.8Tbps using current technology. The new system is scheduled for completion in early-2017.

Construction work on the first section of a new submarine cable link between New Zealand and Australia, named Tasman Global Access (TGA), is scheduled to begin on 29 March, the New Zealand Herald writes. The 2,300km direct link between Raglan (New Zealand) and Narrabeen Beach (Australia) will incorporate three fibre pairs with a current design capacity of 20Tbps; the system is scheduled to be RFS by end-2016. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s Cable Compendium, the TGA consortium – comprising Spark New Zealand (formerly Telecom New Zealand), Telstra and Vodafone – awarded the TGA deployment contract to Paris-based equipment vendor Alcatel-Lucent in January 2015. The new system will provide an alternative path for trans-Tasman traffic – currently routed via Tasman-2 and Southern Cross Cable Network (SCCN) – and is expected to significantly improve New Zealand’s international connectivity options.

Ooredoo Maldives and Huawei Marine have embarked on an offshore marine survey, in preparation for the deployment of a 1,200km fibre-optic submarine cable, which will utilise Huawei’s 100G technology. Dubbed the the National Submarine Cable Project, the new link is expected to be completed by the end of 2016. TeleGeography notes that the Maldives is currently served by three submarine cable networks, namely: Dhiraagu Cable Network (which connects the nation’s main atolls), WARF Submarine Cable (which provides onward connectivity from the Maldives to Sri Lanka and India) and the Maldives-India Dhiraagu-SLT Submarine Cable Network.

Lastly, Finland-based Cinia Group has selected Huawei Technologies to provide its transport platform for a high-capacity optical backbone network between Asia and Europe. The new system will offer a low-latency route between Europe and Asia via the so-called northern Silk Road route, connecting Europe to China via Finland and Russia. The network will link Finland and Germany across the Baltic Sea via the C-Lion submarine cable, which will have landing stations in Rostock in the north German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Finland’s capital Helsinki. The 1,172km fibre-optic system is expected to be RFS in March 2016, and will provide total transmission capacity of 15Tbps when completed.

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