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

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22 Jul 2016

Ooredoo Qatar has announced that the new high-capacity Asia-Africa-Europe-1 (AAE-1) subsea cable system has landed in Qatar. The 25,000km network – which has a design capacity of 40Tbps – will connect Asia, the Middle East, East Africa and Europe, and is scheduled to be ready for service (RFS) by Q4 2016.

A nine-member delegation from the French overseas ‘collectivity’ of Wallis and Futuna has met with the Samoan government in order to discuss the territory’s potential connection to the Samoa Submarine Cable Company’s (SSCC’s) planned sub-sea cable, local newspaper Talamua reports. Tua’imalo Ah Samu, head of the Ministry of Communication, Information & Technology (MCIT), said that Wallis and Futuna wants to capitalise on the Apia to Fiji spur of the submarine network, which will pass within close proximity of the islands. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s Cable Compendium, the Samoan government signed a USD49 million deal with the World Bank for the construction of the submarine link in April 2016. 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.

Dublin-based network solutions provider Aqua Comms has revealed that US-based service provider CenturyLink has activated two 100 Gigabit waves of high capacity connectivity between New York and London on Aqua Comms’ America-Europe Connect (AEConnect) subsea cable system. Aqua Comms chief technology officer Tom McMahon said: ‘The circuits Aqua Comms has provided to CenturyLink from New York City to London are lit Point of Presence (PoP) to PoP with no intermediate or cable landing station regeneration. Traversing over 6,800km, the high capacity transatlantic route includes diverse terrestrial segments on both ends enabling CenturyLink to provision end-to-end high capacity connectivity without regeneration, utilising advanced modulation techniques.’

Zayo Group Holdings has been selected by an unnamed major US carrier for a dark fibre network that will enable the customer to significantly expand its service area. The network leverages both Zayo’s existing long haul fibre network and previously announced routes that are currently under construction. The carrier will utilise 3,200 route miles from Zayo, connecting nine markets and crossing eight states. Zayo’s North American long haul dark fibre network currently spans approximately 29,000 route miles.

The East Africa Marine System (TEAMS) consortium has announced that the fibre-optic system will experience major disruptions until 28 July, due to offshore maintenance work at the Port of Fujairah (UAE), the Standard Digital writes. Joel Tanui, general manager of TEAMS, said: ‘During the time of complete system downtime, estimated at a maximum of ten days, customers are likely to experience slow internet speeds because of bandwidth constraints as result of limited traffic restoration via other cable systems. Thereafter, the remaining protective works will be carried out after the system is re-powered and traffic restored.’

Data centre company Cologix has revealed that C&W Networks, the submarine cable division of Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC), has deployed a PoP in Cologix’s JAX1 data centre in Jacksonville, Florida. Paul Scott, President of C&W Networks, said: ‘The deployment through Cologix in Jacksonville enables us to offer even greater route diversity, redundancy and interconnection to our customers which further enables their business to expand and grow. The Cologix facility provides us an ideal exchange and peering platform that is strategically diverse from our established gateways in South Florida and the Caribbean.’

Vivendi Group is currently deploying a fibre-optic network across five countries in Africa via its African subsidiary Vivendi Group Africa (GVA), Agence Ecofin reports, citing television channel BFM TV. The 5,000km network is expected to connect the cities of Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire), Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), Lome (Togo), Niamey and Dosso (Niger), and Parakou and Cotonou (Benin). The fibre-optic infrastructure is being laid along the Blueline railway route, which is being constructed by the Bollore Group. Once the backbone is completed, the company plans to provide last-mile connectivity over utility poles, which is less costly than laying fibre underground.

Construction work on a 504km fibre-optic network to interconnect the Republic of the Congo (Congo-Brazzaville) with neighbouring Gabon is underway, with the first 10km of fibre-optics already laid at Makebana-Mbinda, on the Bilinga-Dolisie portion of the network. Project coordinator Yvon-Didier Miehakanda said that the first phase of the project – involving the installation of fibre-optic cabling – will be completed in two weeks, while the second phase (provision of technical equipment) is expected to commence in October or November. The deployment of optical fibre from the city of Pointe-Noire to the Gabonese border began in June 2015. The project is part of the Central Africa Backbone (CAB) initiative, which aims to connect a total of eleven Central African countries when completed.

Lastly, Orange and Nokia have completed on a trial to transmit a 1.5Tbps superchannel over an 870km stretch of fibre-optic network in Poland. The superchannel, which comprised six carriers of 250Gbps each, ran between Warsaw and Wroclaw, with the companies claiming that the bandwidth/distance combination established a new benchmark. Christian Gacon, vice president in charge of Orange’s transport networks, said: ‘This ground-breaking milestone will be the basis for faster networks and a better user experience for our customers.’

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