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

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15 Jul 2016

The Budget Bureau of Thailand has put the brakes on a THB5 billion (USD143 million) submarine cable construction project, by saying it violates the state’s procurement regulations, the Bangkok Post writes. Thailand’s procurement rules stipulate that any state agencies involved in a public-private partnership must be the sole owner of the asset in the investment project. Previously, in March this year the government approved the allocation of THB20 billion from its fiscal budget to the ICT Ministry to deploy infrastructure under the digital economy scheme. Of the total, THB15 billion was slated to be invested in broadband networks for 39,000 villages nationwide. The remaining THB5 billion was set aside for the construction of submarine cables. CAT Telecom had been assigned by the ICT Ministry to take responsibility for the submarine cable construction project through an international consortium business model, though the Budget Bureau has now said that no foreign ownership in the submarine cable will be allowed.

Angolan state-run company Angola Cables has offered to share an in-deployment submarine cable landing station and data centre in Fortaleza, Brazil with Brazilian state-owned telecoms infrastructure provider Telebras, Capacity Magazine reports. The offer is presently under review and a deal has yet to be confirmed. Telebras is currently deploying a submarine cable dubbed EllaLink – which will link Lisbon (Portugal) with Fortaleza. Angola Cables and Telebras previously agreed to partner on the South Atlantic Cable System (SACS), but the latter pulled out as a result of budget restrictions, as well as a change in its strategic priority, which has shifted from Africa to Europe. Angola Cables CEO Antonio Nunes said: ‘It was a natural process of financial prioritisation [by Telebras]. They pulled out from the Brazil-US and the Brazil-Africa projects, prioritising the route to Europe. We carried on with our own project. There was no incompatibility, nor does this means we cannot work with Telebras again.’

The Tata TGN-Intra-Asia (TGN-IA) submarine cable route has reportedly suffered a fault 45km from the landing station in Singapore, and will be out of service until 19 July due to repairs. The incident occurred shortly after the maintenance of the Asia-American Gateway (AAG) submarine cable route connecting Vietnam with Hong Kong and the US. During the repair period, Viettel said it had temporarily switched traffic from the TGN-IA cable to the AAG, while also adding a total of 160Gbps traffic to backup routes through China and Hong Kong. The 6,700km TGN-IA cable entered services in November 2009, and has landing stations in Singapore, Vietnam, the Philippines and Hong Kong.

The Ministry of Communications of Turkmenistan has deployed a new national backbone network with coherent DWDM, MPLS-TP, and service management technologies from Coriant. Based on the Coriant hiT 7300 Multi-Haul Transport Platform and the Coriant 7090 Packet Transport Platform, the Ministry of Communications’ new packet optical transport backbone network connects all the major cities of Turkmenistan, with cross-border transit provided via terrestrial LH/ULH and subsea transmission links. The hiT 7300, which will support transmission links of up to 1,930km in the new backbone network, has achieved a total system capacity of up to 9.6Tbps per fibre pair via 96×100G channels, and is designed to support up to 25.6Tbps when using super-channel capabilities powered by Coriant CloudWave Optics.

Orange has selected optical transport solutions provider Ekinops to supply 100G services for its global long haul networks. Based on the Ekinops 360 platform, the service will be deployed by Orange in the second half of 2016 on segments of its terrestrial high-speed broadband network comprising 18,000km of optical fibre in Europe, US and Singapore. Ekinops’ long haul 100G service claims to increase the capacity of existing optical networks.

Oak Hill Capital Partners has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Oxford Networks, a leading fibre-optic bandwidth infrastructure services provider operating in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, from its current private equity owners – Novacap and Bank Street Capital Partners (BSCP). The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2016, following the satisfaction of customary regulatory approvals. Going forward, Oak Hill intends to combine the operations of Oxford with North-eastern US fibre provider FirstLight Fiber, which it agreed to acquire from Riverside Partners in March 2016. Upon completion of the Oxford and FirstLight transactions, the companies will operate approximately 4,800 route miles of high-capacity fibre-optic network and ten data centres in major markets across New York and New England. Novacap, BSCP and Riverside are expected to remain as minority partners alongside Oak Hill in the holding company for FirstLight and Oxford.

ADVA Optical Networking has revealed that French telecoms provider KOSC Telecom has selected the ADVA FSP 3000 platform for its nationwide DWDM transport network. The new operator is leveraging ADVA’s metro and long-haul technology to provide 100Gbps wholesale connectivity to service providers. With metro capabilities in major French cities such as Paris and Marseille, and mid-sized cities (including Annecy and La Rochelle), the new national network spans 20,000km. The fibre infrastructure connects 180 cities and covers all regions of France. Service providers will be able to leverage KOSC Telecom’s networks before the end of 2016.

Elsewhere, ADVA has also provided Swedish ISP Bahnhof with the ADVA FSP 3000 platform featuring 100Gbps core technology for its national backbone network. The meshed DWDM solution, complete with multi-degree ROADMs, links every city in the south of Sweden from Stockholm to Malmo. The long-haul network, which also incorporates the Danish capital Copenhagen and Norway’s capital Oslo, transmits capacity of 100Gbps at every point. Bahnhof’s fully-scalable 100Gbps coherent network features 48 nodes connected in a ring topology. Multi-degree ROADMs are deployed at 36 drop sites, creating remote cross-connections on the optical layer to boost availability and simplify operations. The solution features 96 100Gbps channels, enabling a total capacity of 9.6Tbps.

Lastly, ZTE Corporation has demonstrated a record-breaking single-carrier 800G long-haul high speed transmission, successfully transmitting 120-Gbaud wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) 16QAM signals over 1,200km terrestrial fibre links. The vendor claims that this trial represents the ‘first experiment with the highest symbol rate reported so far for electrical time division multiplexing (ETDM)-based 16QAM signals’.

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