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

7 Oct 2016

Virginia-based independent wholesale operator Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities (MBC) – which provides services across Virginia and neighbouring areas via an open-access fibre network covering 2,500km – will connect the MAREA and BRUSA submarine cables to a Microsoft data centre in Virginia. The 6,605km MAREA subsea system will link Virginia Beach (US) with Bilbao (Spain) in Q1 2018 and will be owned and operated by Edge Cable Holdings (Edge USA – a direct subsidiary of Facebook), Microsoft Infrastructure Group and Telxius, part of the Telefonica group. The US landing station will be owned by Edge USA (25%), Microsoft (25%) and Telxius (50%); Microsoft will serve as the landing partner. Meanwhile, the 11,000km BRUSA fibre-optic network – which aims to link Rio de Janeiro and Fortaleza (both in Brazil) with San Juan (Puerto Rico) and Virginia Beach (US) when completed in 2018 – will be owned and operated by Telxius.

TI Sparkle – a wholly owned subsidiary of Telecom Italia (TIM) – and the Libyan International Telecom Company (LITC) have upgraded the bilateral Italy-Libya cable connecting Tripoli (Libya) to Europe via Mazara del Vallo (Sicily) to support 100Gbps technology. The upgrade is the result of increased demand for advanced services between Libya and Europe. ‘This upgrade is the result of a longstanding and consolidated partnership between Sparkle and LITC. It also proves once again the vital role of Sicily as the natural and most efficient European hub for the Mediterranean, Africa and the Middle East,’ Sparkle’s CEO Alessandro Talotta said.

Dublin-based network solutions provider Aqua Communications (AquaComms) has successfully completed a trial of Ciena’s WaveLogic 3 Extreme transmission technology on the America-Europe Connect (AEConnect) system, which links New York (US) to London (UK) via Dublin in Ireland. This test confirmed that Ciena’s 150Gbps per wavelength 8QAM technology will increase the capacity of AquaComms’ submarine network by 50%, while providing greater spectral efficiency and reach over vast transoceanic distances. AEConnect will initially support 13Tbps (130×100Gbps), however, with the introduction of more advanced modulations, including 8QAM, this will continue to increase.

Data centre operator Equinix has revealed plans to open an internet exchange in Helsinki (Finland) during the first quarter of 2017, thus bringing the number of facilities it operates in the Helsinki metropolitan area to seven. The new internet exchange will offer 2.4Tbps of capacity and will provide access to Cinia Group’s newly build submarine cable C-Lion1, which links Finland and Germany across the Baltic Sea. The 1,200km fibre-optic system has landing stations in Rostock in the north German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Finland’s capital Helsinki and consists of eight optical fibre pairs, with a total capacity of 144Tbps.

Brazilian president Michel Temer and his Paraguayan counterpart Horacio Cartes have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen telecommunications cooperation between the two countries, Agencia EFE writes. The agreement, which was inked in in Asuncion, will improve interconnection between Brazil and Paraguay via fibre-optic links in the border areas. The new deal will provide landlocked Paraguay with access to submarine cables that land on the Brazilian coast.

Bulgaria is planning to join the Trans-Eurasian Information Super Highway (TASIM) backbone project, Trend News Agency reports. A preliminary agreement was reached during a meeting held by representatives from Azerbaijan and Bulgaria in Baku. As noted by TeleGeography’s Cable Compendium, a preliminary MoU regarding the implementation of the TASIM system was signed in Baku, Azerbaijan in December 2013, by China Telecom (China), KazTransCom (Kazakhstan), Rostelecom (Russia), Turk Telekom (Turkey) and Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Communications and High Technologies (MCHT). When finalised, the backbone network will connect 20 countries via two alternative routes – Southern and Northern – stretching from Frankfurt (Germany) to Hong Kong.

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