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

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18 Nov 2016

Huawei Marine Networks has announced that it has ‘successfully delivered’ the Avassa submarine cable system linking a number of islands in the Indian Ocean. The new 260km infrastructure project will connect two locations on the Grande Comore island with Anjouan (all part of the Union of Comoros) and the French overseas territory of Mayotte. Mike Constable, CEO of Huawei Marine, said: ‘The Avassa submarine cable system … is upgradable to 100G and 400G, which will maximise our customers return on investment.’ Comores Telecom (Comtel) and Mayotte-based carrier STOI Internet signed the construction contract with Huawei Marine in January 2016.

Indian Ocean Exchange Limited (IOX), a subsidiary of INDOI, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Mauritius Telecom to build an open access cable system, called IOX Cable. The USD150 million cable system will connect Rodrigues and Mauritius to ‘the rest of the world’, with potential branches to Reunion and Madagascar. The IOX Cable is expected to be ready for commercial service by the first quarter of 2019. TeleGeography notes that Mauritius is currently served by the SAFE and Lower Indian Ocean Network (LION) cables, while another in-development project – Africa-1 – is scheduled to be ready for service (RFS) in Q4 2018.

Angola Cables has selected Etix Everywhere as its partner to deploy its infrastructure globally and to offer a lower latency route between the US and Africa. The first element of the deal includes the construction of a landing station in Fortaleza (Brazil) and a data centre in Brazil for Angola Cables’ new South Atlantic Cable System (SACS) and Monet submarine cable networks, which will link North America and South America with Africa. The 10,556km Monet cable 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. The 6,500km SACS system, meanwhile, is scheduled to be RFS in Q3 2018. Angola Cables meanwhile has also announced that its first direct PoP in Johannesburg, South Africa, will be operational next month, having selected Teraco Data Environments as the colocation partner to deploy the PoP; Antonio Nunes, CEO of Angola Cables, said of the move: ‘As part of establishing Angola as one of the leading hubs for Internet connectivity in Africa, we’re growing a strong IP ecosystem among countries in Southern and Western Africa, as well as South America.’

Sparkle, the international services arm of the Telecom Italia Group, has announced that it will acquire a significant spectrum capacity across the 14,500km FLAG Atlantic (FA-1) system, which is owned by Reliance Communications’ subsidiary Global Cloud Xchange (GCX). In addition, the two parties will close a strategic capacity deal on the new Europe to Asia system, SeaMeWe-5, to support GCX’s growing market requirements. Sparkle and GCX are also exploring additional areas of cooperation into markets across South America, as well as the Middle East and Asia Pacific regions, leveraging Sparkle’s Sicily Hub.

PCCW Global, the international operating division of HKT, has selected the Djibouti Data Centre (DDC) to help facilitate network expansion and the provision of colocation and fibre-optic submarine cable access services in East Africa. The DDC has been built to Tier III data centre standards and serves as a major meeting point for undersea fibre cable systems including the Asia-Africa-Europe-1 (AAE-1) submarine cable between Asia and Europe (with a RFS date of early 2017), in addition to EIG, EASSy, Aden-Djibouti and Ethiopia-Djibouti. Jordick Wong, Senior Vice President of Product and Vendor Management at PCCW Global, said: ‘The addition of AAE-1 to PCCW Global’s existing undersea fibre cable assets in the region will enable us to provide even more robust services, along with lower latency and increased diversity, boosting services levels for our customers.’

AquaComms and Megaport US have signed an agreement, under which Megaport will access AquaComms’ America-Europe Connect (AEConnect) system and enable ‘elastic interconnection’ to its transatlantic subsea cable network. This partnership will allow enterprise customers to access transatlantic capacity on AEConnect via Megaport’s global Software Defined Network.

Huawei’s regional director has revealed that a total of 1,200km of fibre-optic cabling has been deployed as part of Guinea’s National Backbone project, Guineenews writes. This includes routes from the capital Conakry to Mamou (deployed as aerial fibre along the electricity transmission network), in addition to Mamou-Labe, Mamou-Kankan and Conakry-Boke links. When completed, the USD238 million network will cover 84 administrative centres of Guinea. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the government secured a USD350 million loan from the Chinese government for the construction of a 4,000km national fibre-optic backbone network. The contract for the rollout of the fibre was won by China’s Huawei following an international tender, with the vendor having entered the lowest bid of USD238 million; on 25 July 2015 Huawei commenced work on laying the cable. Guineenne de la Large Bande SA (GUILAB) was established to oversee the operation of the system.

Goodall Gondwe, Malawi’s Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, has revealed that the Chinese government will provide Malawi with a CNY160 million (USD21.7 million) loan for the National Fibre Backbone Project, following the inking of a framework agreement. The loan – which is subject to debate in parliament – will have a 15-year repayment period, at 21% interest. All Africa writes that Malawi currently has a total of six fibre gateways to the SEACOM and EASSy cable landings, three each through Malawi Telecommunications Limited (MTL) and the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM).

TE SubCom and Ciena have inked an alliance that furthers the advancement of open submarine cable networking solutions. Customers seeking a single point of contact for both wet plant and dry plant operations will have the option to combine TE SubCom’s advanced wet plant designs and marine installation with Ciena’s 6500 Packet-Optical Platform, powered by WaveLogic coherent optics.

Coriant, a global supplier of SDN-enabled end-to-end packet optical networking solutions, today announced that INTERNET MULTIFEED, Internet Exchange (IX) provider and operator of the Japan Network Access Point (JPNAP), has deployed the Coriant Groove G30 DCI Platform to scale its backbone network. The Coriant Data Centre Interconnect (DCI) solution, delivered in cooperation with Coriant’s local partner UNIADEX, links major data centres in the metropolitan Tokyo region and enables JPNAP to rapidly deploy high speed IX services.

FiberStar, Indonesia’s national infrastructure service provider, has chosen Nokia to help deploy IP/MPLS Metro Ethernet networks in 48 cities across the islands of Java and Bali. Nokia’s solution for FiberStar network includes its 7750 Service Router (SR) family, which provides high-performance networking and supports the delivery of advanced services. This paves the way for leveraging future Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) services.

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