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

28 Oct 2016

Alcatel Lucent Submarine Networks (ASN) has inked a deal with the Samoa Submarine Cable Company (SSCC) to deploy a new submarine cable system, called Tui-Samoa, linking the Polynesian islands of Samoa with Fiji. The 1,470km system will offer design capacity of at least 8Tbps using 100G transmission technology, with initial landing points in Apia and Tuasivi (Samoa) and Suva (Fiji) and potential extensions to Savusavu (located on the Vanua Levu island, Fiji) and the French overseas collectivity (collectivite d’outre-mer) of Wallis and Futuna. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s Cable Compendium, the Samoan government signed a USD49 million deal with the World Bank for the construction of the submarine link in April 2016. The cable will link Samoa’s largest islands of Upolu (Apia) and Savai’i (Tuasivi) to the Southern Cross Cable Network (SCCN) in Suva and is scheduled to be completed in 2017.

Ezecom’s wholly owned fibre-optic subsidiary Telcotech has revealed that the marine deployment of the 1,300km Malaysia-Cambodia-Thailand (MCT) Cable system will start shortly, with the network expected to be fully operational by the first quarter of 2017. The 1,300km system – with design capacity of at least 30Tbps using 100Gbps technology – will provide connectivity between Cherating (Malaysia) and Rayong (Thailand) with a branching unit to Sihanoukville (Cambodia). Ezecom’s CEO Yves Schaeffer said: ‘We are very excited to announce that Cambodia’s first submarine cable is about to arrive and Ezecom will be the first ISP in Cambodia to own this submarine cable. We are going to launch a landing station building in Sihanoukville on 16 December 2016.’

Construction work on Bangladesh’s second submarine cable landing station in Kuakata (situated in Patuakhali district) has commenced, Capacity Media writes. The 20,000km SeaMeWe-5 link, with a design capacity of 24Tbps, will ultimately link a total of 17 countries – Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, UAE, Oman, Qatar, Yemen, Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, Italy and France. The in-deployment fibre-optic network is being built by Alcatel-Lucent (Sri Lanka-France deployment) and Japan’s NEC Corporation (Singapore-Sri Lanka segment). Currently, Bangladesh is served by a sole submarine landing station, at Cox’s Bazar.

Colt Technology has announced plans to revamp its fibre network infrastructure in Japan, enabling high-speed bandwidth up to 100Gbps on a mass scale. The phased expansion, which will also include an extensive Layer-2 network expansion, is set to begin in January 2017. It will see Colt’s leased line service in the country providing speeds between 10Gbps and 100G across metropolitan area networks, while also adding multi-route diversity for connectivity between Tokyo and Osaka. The second phase of project, scheduled to begin in Q2 2017, will see Colt increase etherXEN service areas which offer speeds of up to 10Gbps. It will also expand backbone capacity to 100Gbps with high bandwidth services.

A 2,000km fibre-optic network linking the Chinese capital of Beijing with Shanghai is scheduled for completion by the end of this year, IEEE Spectrum reports. The Beijing-Shanghai line – which is currently being deployed by the University of Science and Technology – will use 32 trusted nodes, and connect quantum key distribution (QKD) networks in four cities: Beijing, Jinan, Hefei and Shanghai.

Vodafone Wholesale, a subsidiary of telecoms provider Vodafone Ghana, has completed its second fibre-optic network connecting Ghana to Mali and Niger via Burkina Faso, as part of the last named country’s component of the WARCIP project, Business Ghana reports. Angela Mensah-Poku, Managing Director of Vodafone Wholesale said: ‘The Paga-Dakola fibre-optic link project is one of the many projects Vodafone Wholesale has introduced to empower businesses, including ISPs and mobile network providers. The high speed internet or data services we are providing to customers will contribute to internet penetration in the West African sub-region.’

Finally, Australian operator Vocus Communications has completed the acquisition of smaller rival Nextgen Networks from Canada’s Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and Spanish-controlled infrastructure giant CIMIC Group (formerly called Leighton Holdings) in a deal worth AUD861 million (USD656 million). Vocus acquired all of Nextgen’s backhaul assets in addition to two in-development projects, the North West Cable System (NWCS) and the Australia-Singapore Cable (ASC). The deal does not include Nextgen’s data centre business Metronode, which operates as a separate entity. The NWCS system – which was certified ready for service (RFS) in September 2016 – stretches 2,100km and connects Darwin to Port Hedland (both in Australia). For its part, the 4,600km ASC – which is estimated to cost USD120 million – will directly connect Perth (Australia) to Singapore via Jakarta (Indonesia), providing a 100Gbps connection from Western Australia to south-east Asia. The infrastructure is scheduled to be RFS in 2018.

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