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

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12 Aug 2016

A new fibre-optic submarine cable aiming to connect Uruguay to Brazil, which is being developed by Google in cooperation with Uruguayan state-run telecoms operator Antel, is on target for completion by the end of 2017. Newspaper El Mundo cites Antel’s president Andres Tolosa as saying that the Tannat cable ‘will give [Antel] sovereignty in terms of direct connection and costs.’ The 2,000km cable – which will connect Maldonado in Uruguay with Santos (Brazil) – will comprise six fibre pairs, with a total design capacity of 90Tbps; the construction contract has been awarded to Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks (now part of Nokia). In Santos, the Tannat cable will interconnect with the Junior system, which will link the Brazilian cities of Rio de Janeiro and Santos, with onward connectivity to Google’s other terrestrial and submarine infrastructure in the region.

Auckland-based submarine cable operator Hawaiki Submarine Cable and vendor partner TE SubCom have launched a marine route survey on the Hawaiki Submarine Cable System. The new cable will have landing stations at Oregon (US), Whangarei (New Zealand) and Sydney (Australia), and will allow for optional connectivity to Pacific islands along the route utilising TE SubCom’s optical add/drop multiplexing (OADM) nodes. Once completed, the roughly 14,000km cable will deliver more than 30Tbps of capacity via TE SubCom’s C100U+ Submarine Line Terminating Equipment (SLTE). The system is expected to be ready for service (RFS) by mid-2018.

Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) has gained a full landing status of the SeaMeWe-5 cable landing station in Matara, Sri Lanka. SLT’s international backhaul network currently consists of three main cable stations at Colombo, Mount Lavinia and Matara, which connect to SLT’s international backhaul hub at the Welikada premises. SLT is aiming to interconnect with multiple fibre-optic submarine systems – SeaMeWe-5, SeaMeWe-4, SeaMeWe-3, Bharat-Lanka and Dhiraagu-SLT – through a high capacity fibre-optic ring, which will link Welikada with Awissawella, Ratnapura, Godakawela, Embilipitiya, Matara, Galle, Ambalangoda, Kalutara and Mount Lavinia. The operator has also proposed the deployment of a new direct fibre route, from Colombo to Matara.

Zayo Group Holdings has been selected by an unnamed ‘large global carrier’ for 100G wavelength services between Paris and Marseille. The upgrade leverages the Viatel network, which was acquired by Zayo in 2015, and will provide backhaul capabilities for the Asia-Africa-Europe-1 (AAE-1) and SeaMeWe-5 submarine cables, which is expected to be RFS later this year. As part of the contract, Zayo will deploy a 100G coherent system over the existing fibre network. In addition to the increased wavelength capacity, Zayo will continue to provide dark fibre along the route. Alastair Kane, managing director of Northern Europe at Zayo, said: ‘This new 100G capable route will provide backhaul capabilities for the subsea cables landing in Marseille this year, providing customers with seamless service across Europe, North America and around the globe … Zayo can connect customers from Marseille to Milan, London, Dublin, New York, Toronto, Los Angeles and back around the world. With the upgrade, we are well-positioned to capture global traffic growth.’

Indonesian operator XL Axiata says its ongoing fibre-optic rollout in the country now extends to a total of 40,000km, with further work scheduled to continue in various regions. The operator completed the following deployments in 2016: a 900km backbone in Kalimantan between Banjarmasin and Balikpapan; a 900km link in Borneo and a 170km expansion in Java. Furthermore, XL Axiata says it is involved in the joint construction of a 130km fibre-optic section in Kalimantan, while ongoing projects this year include further buildouts in the regions of Sumatra, Kalimantan, Bali-Lombok-Sumbawa, Sulawesi and Java.

NTT Communications has announced the expansion of its Tier-1 Global IP Network with two new points of presence (PoPs) in Berlin and Frankfurt, located at European data centre operator e-shelter facilities. Customers will have access to NTT Com’s Global IP Network and its IP transit services, Layer 2 Ethernet products and DDoS Protection Service. e-shelter is a subsidiary of NTT Communications.

UK-based Ethernet, cloud and hosting provider BSO has established a footprint in the US with a fibre-optic network in the metro New York City area, with onward connectivity to Chicago. It serves as the first of the company’s announced routes in North America. BSO claims its global network spans 20 countries with 86 data centre locations, including London, New York, Chicago, Dubai, Tokyo, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Mumbai, and Sydney.

Oak Hill Capital Partnershas entered into a definite agreement to take over US-based fibre provider Sovernet Communications. Once it secures the requisite regulatory approvals, Oak Hill intends to combine the operations of Sovernet with North-eastern US fibre provider FirstLight Fiber, which it agreed to acquire from Riverside Partners in March 2016.

Lastly, Integra Telecom Holdings has decided to spin out its fibre-optic service provider unit Electric Lightwave into a separate company. Electric Lightwave will remain a fibre-based network services provider focused on the western US, while Integra will maintain competitive and incumbent operations in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Colorado. Integra also will manage all small business customers in Electric Lightwave’s markets.

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