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

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4 Nov 2016

NTT Communications Corporation (NTT Com) has launched the Asia Pacific Gateway (APG) submarine cable network, connecting nine Asian nations (Vietnam, Japan, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, South Korea and Thailand). With a total length of 10,400km, the APG network leverages 100Gbps optical transmission capabilities and digital coherent technology to deliver a capacity of more than 54Tbps. TeleGeography notes that the cable is owned and operated by a multi-national consortium, which includes: NTT, China Telecom, China Unicom, Chunghwa Telecom, KT Corporation, StarHub, LG Uplus, China Mobile, Viettel, Vietnam Telecom International, Global Transit, Facebook and TIME dotcom.

TE SubCom has successfully completed the US shore landing of the 10,556km Monet submarine cable that will connect the US to Brazil. Monet is currently designed to deliver over 60Tbps of capacity between the cities of Santos and Fortaleza in Brazil and Boca Raton, US. Construction of the six-fibre-pair system is underway, and is expected to be completed in 2017. Monet is owned by Brazilian telco Algar Telecom, submarine cable operator Angola Cables, Uruguayan telecoms provider ANTEL and search engine giant *Google*· The Boca Raton landing is the third shore landing installed by TE SubCom for the Monet system, following the successful installations in Fortaleza and Praia Grande (Santos).

Omantel is planning to link China and Africa via Pakistan through a unique redundant route, which avoids the Indian Ocean and Singapore. To achieve this, the operator will interconnect the Gulf to Africa (G2A) and Silk Road Gateway-1 (SRG-1) cable systems via undersea cable infrastructure. When completed in Q4 2016, the 1,500km G2A will connect Salalah in Oman to Berbera and Bosaso (Somalia), with onward connectivity to Ethiopia, Kenya, Mogadishu (Somalia) and South Africa likely to be available in later phases. The 1,030km SRG-1 system – which is scheduled to be ready for service (RFS) in Q4 2017 – will connect Muscat (Oman) to Gwadar and Karachi (both Pakistan), with onward connectivity to Afghanistan, China, Iran, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan.

Conexiones y Telefonia Austral has been named as the sole company to have submitted a bid for one of the four sections of Chile’s Fibra Optica Austral project, under which the government aims to deploy 3,000km of fibre-optic infrastructure in the southern Patagonia region, daily newspaper Prensa Austral writes. The company submitted a guarantee of CLP20.6 million (USD31,400) for the Magallanes connection between Porvenir and Pampa Guanaco. Previously, telecoms regulator the Department of Telecommunications (Subsecretaria de Telecomunicaciones, Subtel) claimed that 14 national and international companies had expressed interest in the tenders.

An unnamed global ISP has selected Zayo Group Holdings for metro dark fibre infrastructure to replace services from legacy providers and expand its network to new locations. The 20-year agreement will predominantly leverage existing Zayo network assets in the US and Canada, including assets from Zayo’s recent Allstream acquisition and the resulting unique cross-border connectivity. With Zayo’s on-net connectivity to enterprise buildings in Toronto and more than 5,500 route miles in multiple Canadian cities, deployment of the dark fibre solution can begin immediately.

Gulf Bridge International (GBI) – a global service provider that owns and operates a multilayer carrier neutral network connecting the world to the Middle East – has disclosed that planned maintenance work, expected to take place between 2 November and 6 November in the Arabian Sea, will not disrupt service delivery in Kuwait and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. All GBI partners were notified beforehand and were offered the option to utilise alternative capacity on the GBI network which would ensure no disruption and extra protection to their existing service, the company said.

US-based network service providers CenturyLink and Level 3 Communications have announced that their respective Boards of Directors have approved a definitive merger agreement under which CenturyLink will acquire Level 3 in a cash and stock transaction valued at approximately USD34 billion, including the assumption of debt. Under the deal’s terms, CenturyLink shareholders will own approximately 51% of the combined company, and Level 3 shareholders will hold a roughly 49% stake in the enlarged entity.

Finally, Nokia has acquired 100% of Alcatel-Lucent shares, following a squeeze out, with the wholly-owned subsidiary delisted from the Euronext Paris market on 2 November. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s Cable Compendium, Nokia received the unconditional approval of the European Commission (EC) for the acquisition of the rival vendor in July 2015.

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