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

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8 Apr 2016

Angola Cables and Japan’s NEC Corporation have revealed that construction work on the South Atlantic Cable System (SACS) between Angola and Brazil has commenced. The 6,200km cable system – which is expected to be ready for service (RFS) by mid-2018 – will connect to the Sangano landing station in Angola, which is situated close to the capital city of Luanda, and a datacentre in Fortaleza, Brazil. According to NEC, SACS will have an initial design capacity of 40Tbps (100Gbps x 100 wavelengths x four fibre-pairs). The project cost is expected to reach USD160 million and will be partially co-funded by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) with the support of Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) through the Banco de Desenvolvimento de Angola (BDA).

Pakistani connectivity provider TransWorld Associates (TWA) has contracted equipment vendor Huawei Marine to upgrade its 1,300km Transworld (TW1) submarine cable connecting Pakistan with United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman. The 100G upgrade will combine the submarine and terrestrial portions into a unified network by utilising Huawei’s WDM/OTN product OSN 8800/9800. This will greatly enhance the operational and management capabilities of the TW1 system, while substantially lowering operating expenses. Naveed Malik, vice president of TWA, said: ‘The flexible upgrade solution delivered by Huawei Marine will provide options for us to upgrade to 400G or 1Tb in the future, which will allow greater flexibility, while enabling us to maintain our quality and reliability commitments to customers.’

TE SubCom has been selected to upgrade the South-East Asia Japan Cable (SJC) by deploying C100U+ technology to add 100Gbps coherent transmission capabilities to the system. The upgrade – which will increase the capacity by 6.3Tbps – is expected to be implemented by June 2016. The 8,986km SJC System – which links Brunei, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the Philippines, and includes the option to connect with Thailand – began service in June 2013 and is owned by a consortium comprising Brunei International Gateway (BIG), China Mobile International (CMI), China Telecom, China Telecom Global (CTG), Donghwa Telecom (DHT, a subsidiary of Chunghwa Telecom), Globe Telecom, Google, KDDI Corporation, Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SingTel), PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia International (Telin, a subsidiary of Telekomunikasi Indonesia) and Thai state-owned telco TOT. TeleGeography notes that this is the third time TE SubCom has been selected to upgrade the system, having previously added additional capacity in May 2014 (6.5Tbps) and May 2015 (3.6Tbps).

A USD49 million deal for the construction of a submarine cable from Samoa to Fiji has been signed between the Samoa Submarine Cable Company (SSCC), the World Bank, the Asian Development Fund and Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Radio New Zealand reports. 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 in 2017.

Brazilian regional operator Cemig Telecom has signed a cooperation agreement with Level 3 Communications to leverage each other’s fibre-optic networks, Atila Lemos reports. Under the agreement, Cemig Telecom – which is owned by Brazil’s utility Companhia Energetica de Minas Gerais (Cemig) – will gain access to Level 3’s network along the Rodovia Fernao Dias Highway to Sao Paulo (thus gaining access to ten data centres), while Level 3 will expand its scope in the Triangulo Mineiro, an area in the state of Minas Gerais; the partnership is said to comprise 700km of fibre-optic cabling, which will allow the two companies to grow without major investment. TeleGeography notes that Cemig Telecom currently serves the metropolitan region of Belo Horizonte (in Minas Gerais) and four states: Pernambuco, Ceara, Bahia and Goias. For its part, Level 3 boasts a fibre-optic network stretching 320,000km in more than 60 countries.

Juniper Networks has completed the acquisition of optical transport systems company BTI Systems, according to Jonathan Davidson, executive vice president and general manager of Juniper Development and Innovation. Juniper first announced its plans to acquire BTI in January for a sum ‘not considered to be material to [its] financials.’

Lastly, UK-based SSE Enterprise Telecoms has purchased dark fibre capacity over CityFibre’s newly acquired long distance network (LDN), under a 15-year agreement.

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