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

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30 Sep 2016

Greenland’s state-owned telecoms and postal services operator TELE-POST has selected Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks to deploy a submarine cable branch from the capital Nuuk to Aasiaat, located in the northern part of the country, under its previously announced ‘Nordvestprogram’ project, the Arctic Journal writes. The planned USD45 million network, tentatively dubbed Greenland Connect Nord, will link Nuuk, Maniitsoq, Sisimiut, Qasigiannguit and Aasiaat. TeleGeography notes that Greenland is currently served by a sole network, the 4,600km Greenland Connect cable, which links Greenland with Iceland and Canada. The USD122 million system (deployed by Alcatel-Lucent) was lit in March 2009 with initial capacity of 10Gbps for each of the two fibre-optic pairs.

Russian national operator Rostelecom has completed the second stage of its project to connect the Kamchatka, Sakhalin and Magadan regions across the Okhotsk Sea. The 900km Okha-Ust-Bolsheretsk stretch – which links the Kamchatka and Magadan regions – was deployed by Chinese equipment vendor Huawei. The first stage of the network went live in May 2016; it was completed in September 2015, and involved the deployment of 930km of fibre-optic cabling between Ola in Magadan and Okha (Sakhalin). The full network – which is scheduled to enter commercial operation in Q1 2017 – will span 2,000km and have a total capacity of 400Gbps, with the option to expand this to up to 8Tbps in the future.

Auckland-based submarine cable operator Hawaiki Submarine Cable has selected Alaska Communications as its landing and operating partner in Oregon (US). The new 14,000km cable will connect Oregon (US) with 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 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. TeleGeography notes that Alaska Communications currently operates that ACS Alaska-Oregon Network (AKORN) submarine cable, which links Alaska to Oregon.

New York-based provider of managed services Perseus has announced an upgrade to its network route between Chicago and Tokyo, dubbed Pacific Express. Once the project is complete, in February 2017, Perseus will offer what it claimed is ‘the lowest commercially available latency connectivity’ between the CME Aurora and @Tokyo data centres. In addition, Perseus will also offer the fastest network connectivity between London and Tokyo, New York and Tokyo, Chicago and Shanghai, Chicago and Hong Kong, and Chicago and Singapore. Perseus has a presence at over 100 data centres and offers proximity hosting in over 300 exchanges and trading venues.

US-based cable provider Midco has deployed Infinera’s XTM Series platform for 100Gbps transport capacity to support metro aggregation services and to interconnect its recently acquired data centres in South Dakota, which it inherited via the takeover of Dataware. Midco operates one of the largest fibre-optic networks in its Upper Midwest service region, spanning 8,400 fibre miles.

Huawei Marine Networks has achieved a breakthrough in unrepeatered systems over a transmission distance of up to 648.5km, in a laboratory test in Beijing, China. The trial was performed on a 100Gbps channel over an ultra-low loss optical fibre by using Huawei Marine’s enhanced raman amplifier (ERPC) and remote optical pump amplifier (ROPA).

Indonesia’s telecoms minister Rudiantara has revealed that the Palapa Ring Project will be operational by the end of 2018, the Jakarta Post reports. The planned network will comprise 13,000km of submarine cabling and nearly 22,000km of terrestrial networks when completed. The deployment contracts for the three sections of the network have already been awarded to three consortiums: Pandawa Lima (central portion); Palapa Ring Barat (western) and Sinar Mas (eastern).

Telefonica’s infrastructure subsidiary Telxius is set to invest EUR352 million (USD393 million) over the 2016-2018 period in three submarine cable projects, reports El Economista. According to documentation submitted to Spain’s National Securities Market Commission (Comision Nacional del Mercado de Valores CNMV), the company has earmarked the investment for the following cable networks: the 25,000km South America-1 (SAm-1) cable, which connects the US with Central and South America; the 11,000km BRUSA cable, which will connect Virginia Beach, Virginia; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Fortaleza and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (RFS in 2018); and the 6,605km MAREA cable between Virginia Beach (US) with Bilbao, Spain (RFS: Q1 2018). Last week, Telefonica revealed plans to float a minority stake of at least 36.4% of the infrastructure unit, though the company has now postponed the initial public offering (IPO) due to weak investor demand.

Cameroon’s Ministry of Post and Telecommunications (MINPOSTEL) and Eneo Cameroon (formerly known as AES-SONEL) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding the transfer of a fibre-optic network deployed by Eneo to MINPOSTEL. Eneo Cameroon has deployed an 812km fibre link over its electricity transmission and distribution network. According to the terms of the agreement, the government will acquire 78 out of the 96 fibre-optic strands, while Eneo Cameroon will receive a licence to operate the remaining 18 strands as an independent private network for its own internal purposes.

Lastly, C&W Networks, the submarine cable division of pan-Caribbean telecoms provider Cable & Wireless Communications (C&W), has activated a PoP at the Jacksonville Network Access Point (Jax NAP). The Jax NAP facility hosts over 21 different carriers and eight unique data centres.

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