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

16 Sep 2016

Singapore-based Super Sea Cable Networks has selected Huawei Marine Networks to deploy the SEA Cable Exchange-1 (SEAX-1) submarine cable, which will connect Mersing in Malaysia with Changi (Singapore) and Batam (Indonesia). The 250km system will comprise 24-fibre pairs and is scheduled for completion by end-2017. The system will be wholly-owned by Super Sea Cable Networks, which has a licence for facilities-based operations (FBO) in Singapore; the landing in Malaysia will be supported by telecoms infrastructure provider SACOFA, while its Indonesian affiliate Super Sistem Ultima will oversee the Indonesian portion of the project.

Brazilian telco Algar Telecom, submarine cable operator Angola Cables and search engine giant Google have selected Equinix to provide US-based landing station architecture for the Monet submarine cable, which aims to link Brazil with the US. Monet is currently designed to deliver over 60Tbps of capacity between the cities of Santos and Fortaleza in Brazil and Miami, US. Construction of the six-fibre-pair system is underway and is expected to be completed in 2017, terminating in the US at Equinix’s MI3 International Business Exchange (IBX) data centre, which services the greater Miami metropolitan area.

Nextgen Group and Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks have revealed that the USD139 million North West Cable System (NWCS) linking Darwin in the Northern Territory of Australia to Port Headland (Western Australia) is now operational. The 2,100km subsea cable has been integrated with Nextgen’s 17,000km land-based transmission network and Metronode’s datacentres across Australia, also connecting to offshore facilities owned by oil and gas providers Shell and INPEX, both of which were equal partners with Nextgen in rolling out the cable. Nextgen said it has installed additional capacity within the submarine cable that will provide greater resilience for telecoms services in the Northern Territory, and the cable can be extended to the Pilbara region and to other offshore locations including the Tiwi Islands in the future. TeleGeography notes that the NWCS system is currently under consideration for acquisition by Australian operator Vocus Communications. Vocus is looking to acquire the NWCS infrastructure alongside another in-deployment submarine network – the Australia-Singapore Cable (ASC) – in addition to all of Nextgen’s backhaul assets, from Canada’s Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and Spanish-controlled infrastructure giant CIMIC Group (formerly Leighton Holdings), in a deal worth approximately AUD807 million (USD600 million).

US-based Seaborn Networks will deploy the Amdocs Optima platform to rapidly and securely monetise its trans-oceanic fibre-optic cable Seabras-1, which will connect New York City (US) and Sao Paulo (Brazil). With its multi-tenancy capabilities to support multiple companies with one platform, Amdocs Optima will enable Seaborn Networks to sell and lease submarine cable capacity to content providers, carriers, governments, ISPs and other purchasers of wholesale capacity.

A scheduled five-day maintenance of the Asia-American Gateway (AAG) submarine cable route connecting Vietnam with Hong Kong and the US is expected to disrupt internet services in Vietnam until 19 September, Tuoi Tre News reports. The cable has experienced a plethora of faults in recent years, with the most recent issue reported on 2 August 2016, when the system suffered a cut 90km from the landing station in South Lantau (Hong Kong).

Iran’s Telecommunications Infrastructure Company (TIC) has inked an agreement with Telecom Italia Sparkle to set up a Point of Presence (PoP) in Tehran. The agreement was signed by Telecom Italia Sparkle CEO Alessandro Talotta and Iran’s deputy ICT minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi on the sidelines of the ‘Iran Connect 2016’ conference in Tehran. Further, Iran Daily reports that TIC signed an agreement with Germany’s DE-CIX for ‘cooperation in the internet sector’.

Italian utility group Enel has created a new business unit to cover international internet connectivity, to complement its domestic operation, Enel Open Fiber (EOF), which was established earlier this year to deploy ultra-fast broadband networks which can be leased to telecoms service providers. Its new ‘Global Fiber Optic Infrastructures’ division has been created ‘to devise strategies and implement business models for the Group’s global development of fibre-optic infrastructure’.

Oak Hill Capital Partners has completed the acquisition of North-eastern US fibre provider FirstLight Fiber from Riverside Partners. Going forward, Oak Hill intends to combine the operations of FirstLight Fiber with US-based fibre provider Sovernet Communications, which it agreed to acquire in August 2016.

Lastly, Fiji International Telecommunications (FINTEL) is looking into alternative submarine cable connectivity options for Fiji and the Pacific, with CEO George Samisonisa saying that heavy reliance on the Southern Cross Cable Network (SCCN) is ‘not healthy’, the Fiji Times reports.

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