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

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9 Sep 2016

Google, one of the members of the FASTER consortium, has extended the recently launched network from Japan to Tanshui (Taiwan); the new branch has design capacity of 26Tbps. The 9,000km cable – which was built by NEC Corporation of Japan – connects Brandon, Oregon (US) to a number of major Asian cities, including Chikura and Shima in Japan. FASTER consists of six fibre-optic pairs with an initial design capacity of 60Tbps on the principal portion (Segments 1-4), while Segments 5 and 6 consist of two fibre pairs with 20Tbps initial design capacity. The FASTER consortium also comprises China Mobile International, China Telecom Global, Global Transit, KDDI and SingTel.

Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom) has selected Japanese vendor NEC Corporation for the deployment of the Indonesia Global Gateway Cable System (IGG), a 100Gbps x 80 wavelengths network comprising four fibre pairs. The 5,300km fibre-optic system will connect the Indonesian cities of Dumai, Batam, Jakarta, Madura, Bali, Makassar, Bilikpapan, Takaran and Manado with the island city-state of Singapore. The system is also designed to provide direct connectivity between two international submarine cables – the SeaMeWe-5, which lands in Dumai and is scheduled to be ready for service (RFS) in November 2016, and the SEA-US, which extends to Hermosa Beach, California, with RFS date of Q4 2016. The IGG deployment is scheduled for completion in early-2018.

DOCOMO Pacific has completed the marine survey of the undersea route of the ATISA submarine cable, which is planned to be RFS by May 2017. The 280km cable will connect the unincorporated US territories of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) – specifically the islands of Saipan, Rota and Tinian. The ATISA cable will comprise six fibre pairs, with initial capacity of 100Gbps on the Guam-Saipan route (over three express fibre pairs) and 10Gbps on the other routes (Guam-Rota, Guam-Tinian, Rota-Tinian, Rota-Saipan and Tinian-Saipan) for total design capacity of 4.8Tbps using current technology.

Kiribati’s Ministry of Information, Communications, Transport and Tourism Development claims that the island nation will soon be connected to a submarine cable. Secretary of Communications Booti Nauan told Radio Kiribati News that Kiribati has now joined a committee known as the FSM Nauru Kiribati Submarine Cable Committee tasked with implementing the submarine cable project, which aims to link the nations of Kiribati, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia. The World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) jointly committed USD35 million to the project, which is expected to be implemented before the end of 2018.

Representatives of Costa Rica’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Telecommunications (Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnologia y Telecomunicaciones, MICITT) have met with officials from South Korea’s Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP) to discuss the deployment of a submarine cable connecting the two countries, TeleSemana writes. Marcelo Jenkins, head of the MICITT, said: ‘We negotiated with the Ministry of Science and ICT the possibility of launching a submarine cable to bring Internet directly from the south of the country to Costa Rica.’ A potential cable between the two countries would stretch more than 10,000km and would require an investment of up to USD400 million.

Internet connections in several African countries, including Mauritius, Benin, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Angola, Senegal and Ghana, have been affected by maintenance work on the South Africa Far East (SAFE) submarine cable, which started on 2 September. The cable is expected to be back in service next week.

Telia Carrier has revealed that internet and data services provider US Internet has selected its IP Transit services to increase capacity and provide redundancy to the company’s network, allowing for the continued delivery of internet access, networking and IT services, and on-demand hosting and communications solutions. Elsewhere, Telia Carrier has established a new PoP within Jaguar Network’s Marseilles data centre. The new PoP will provide Telia Carrier’s customers with access to two new in-deployment submarine cable systems, namely: the 24Tbps SeaMeWe-5 system and the 40Tbps AAE-1 network.

Pan-African telecommunications operator SEACOM has established a PoP in Slough (UK), which houses some of the UK’s largest co-location data centres. ‘The area is also a key hub for transit of traffic between London and major global financial centres such as New York … The new PoP is significant for African financial services institutions that trade in equities. It will give them a direct route to one of the UK’s most important financial interconnection points, delivering better performance and lower latency.’ SEACOM now has PoPs in Europe’s five main business centres: Stockholm, Amsterdam, London, Frankfurt and Marseille.

State-backed Telecommunications Infrastructure Company of Iran (TIC), which manages, operates and maintains all state-owned fixed backbone/wholesale telecoms infrastructure assets in the country, has announced that all unused sections of the national fibre-optic network will be leased to the private sector, The Financial Tribune writes. Majid Mirzaei, financial director of TIC, said the scheme will enable ISPs to provide services through privately operated fibre-optic networks that will be run directly by the operators over dark fibre leased from TIC, rather than by purchasing bandwidth or leased line capacity. The executive added: ‘Firstly, the unused national infrastructure will be put to use … Secondly, it will return some of the capital that the state invested in the sector, releasing it for further investment. And thirdly, the private sector has a better understanding of the needs of the market and would be able to cater to the needs of the citizens faster than a government owned body.’

Senegal’s state IT agency ADIE has announced that the third phase of the national fibre backbone network – which will see the deployment of 3,000km of fibre by the end of 2016 – is ongoing in the south western Casamance, central Kaolack and eastern Tambacounda regions. In Casamance, ADIE is currently deploying 195km of cabling, with additional 149km under construction in Kaolack and 186km (Tambacounda). TeleGeography notes that the first phase of the project saw 500km of fibre deployed in the capital Dakar, while the second stage – which was completed in 2012 – consisted of the rollout of 1,000km of cabling to Mbour, Kaolack, Fatick, Tamba, Velingara, Ziguinchor, Saint-Louis, Louga and Diourbel.

Lastly, Spain’s Telefonica has revealed that it plans to float a minority stake of at least 25% of its infrastructure unit, Telxius. It has been suggested that this IPO could happen before the end of 2016, once regulatory approval is forthcoming. Telxius operates Telefonica Group´s international network of 31,000km of submarine fibre-optic cable, including SAM-1, a submarine cable that connects the United States with Central and South America.

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