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

17 Jun 2016

Submarine cable operator Angola Cables, which aims to deploy a trans-Atlantic network connecting the Brazilian municipality of Fortaleza to Luanda in Angola, has commenced the construction of a data centre and a submarine landing station in the Brazilian city. The site will host the South Atlantic Cable System (SACS), which will connect Luanda to Fortaleza, and will also serve a number of other affiliated cable systems that are under construction by Angola Cables, including the Monet system, which will link the cities of Santos and Fortaleza in Brazil with Miami, US in Q4 2016. The data centre will be operational by H1 2017, while the 6,500km SACS system is scheduled to be ready for service (RFS) in Q3 2018. Angola Cables says that the Monet network is at a more advanced construction stage, with deployment of the terrestrial routes already underway.

Thailand’s CAT Telecom and Indian telecom giant Tata Communications are reportedly planning to ink a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a submarine cable partnership, the Nation writes. Under the MoU, CAT is aiming to expand its international coverage and capacity to support its business and promote the development of the digital economy in Thailand, while Tata is aiming to achieve cost effective, scalable solution for connectivity within Thailand and countries neighbouring Thailand to support its global business and customers. Tata Communications operates the Tata Global Network, which links key business locations with undersea and terrestrial cables; it comprises the Tata TGN Atlantic, Tata TGN Western Europe, Tata TGN-Tata Indicom, Tata TGN Pacific, Tata TGN Intra Asia (TGN-IA) and Tata TGN Gulf routes. For its part, CAT Telecom operates Thailand’s international telecoms infrastructure, including its international gateways, satellite and submarine cable network connections.

Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco) has announced the launch of Batelco Gulf Network (BGN), in a venture with the Gulf Cooperation Council Interconnection Authority (GCCIA). The BGN terrestrial fibre-optic cable system spans 1,400km and runs over the GCCIA electricity power grid, offering high bandwidth and capacity connectivity to all Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, with Batelco given full responsibility for managing the network. The cable can be interconnected with other regional submarine cables giving access to onward connectivity to Europe and Asia and major regional landing stations.

The government of Togo has deployed a metro fibre-optic network spanning 200km in the capital Lome, under an e-government project aiming to connect 500 administrative sites when completed, republicoftogo.com writes. The network – which is being installed by Chinese vendor Huawei – is scheduled to enter its operational phase by the end of the year. China Exim Bank has provided a funding of USD25 million for the project.

Honduran regulator the National Telecommunications Commission (Comision Nacional de Telecomunicaciones, Conatel) has revealed that it has switched on the country’s first internet exchange point (IXP), nearly two years after first announcing the project. The IXP-HN facility will be housed at the National Autonomous University of Honduras (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Honduras) in capital city Tegucigalpa. The executive commission in charge of managing the IXP comprises Conatel personnel, representatives from local ISPs, university officials and other stakeholders.

California-based provider of intelligent transport networks Infinera has revealed that GEANT – which operates a pan-European research network connecting over 50 million users at 10,000 institutions – will deploy Infinera’s programmable and open packet optical software-defined networking (SDN) solution integrated with GEANT’s ONOS-based controller. GEANT recently validated the solution and will now move forward with plans for a network-wide deployment that will optimise its multi-layer network and enable efficient delivery of very high-bandwidth connectivity for data intensive research.

US-based FTS Fiber has embarked on the deployment of a dark fibre network in Kent County (Maryland) spanning 110 miles. The network is scheduled to be completed by mid-to-late 2017. In cooperation with ISP ThinkBig, FTS will provide 1Gbps service throughout the rural Eastern Shore area beginning in August.

NEC demonstrated a transmission capacity of 34.9Tbps on a single optical fibre over a distance greater than 6,300km. The company claimed this achievement ‘breaks the spectral efficiency record for transoceanic transmission’, by achieving 8.3bps/Hz using the C-band spectrum, which according to NEC is a 16.9% improvement on the previous record. In addition, these results come very close to the Shannon limit – the fundamental spectral efficiency limit of optical communications.

Lastly, Nokia says it has agreed to acquire privately held US-based startup Gainspeed, which offers a line of virtualised Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP) products that include support for Distributed Access Architecture (DAA), for an undisclosed sum. By virtualising CCAP, Gainspeed enables a DAA deployment by using software to distribute virtualised headend functions to Ethernet fibre nodes at the network’s edge with control resident in a cable operator’s data centre. The acquisition would significantly expand Nokia’s offerings to cable operators, which currently include 10G EPON systems with DOCSIS Provisioning of EPON (DPoE) capabilities. Gainspeed’s virtual CCAP technology would also enhance Nokia’s software-defined networking and network functions virtualisation (SDN/NFV). The acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter of the year.

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