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

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3 Feb 2017

Orange Group’s CEO Stephane Richard has revealed that his company will deploy a new submarine fibre-optic cable linking a number of French overseas territories (departements d’outre-mer, DOMs) in the Caribbean, with the new infrastructure expected to be ready for service (RFS) in the second half of 2018, Megazap writes. The 1,900km cable will link the DOMs of French Guiana, Martinique and Guadeloupe, while also interconnecting with the existing 1,730km Eastern Caribbean Fiber System (ECFS) cable, offering a direct link between French Guiana and the American continent. The planned infrastructure will comprise two fibre pairs with ultimate design capacity of 5Tbps. Orange Group has set aside an investment of approximately EUR35 million (USD40 million) for the project.

Algeria’s ICT minister Houda-Imane Feraoun has revealed at a plenary session of the National People’s Congress (NPC) that Algerie Telecom (AT) is likely to secure a compensation for losses amounting to DZD600 million (USD5.6 million) caused by the 2015 cut in the SeaMeWe-4 cable linking the city of Annaba (Algeria) to Marseille (France). The official said: ‘Algerie Telecom, which had supported the repair of the submarine cable connecting Annaba to Marseille will be compensated under a court order, by the ship responsible for the disconnection, due to its berthing at an improper place.’ The 20,000km SeaMeWe-4 cable – which is said to carry roughly 80% of Algeria’s international traffic – was damaged for almost a week in October 2015. Further, Mrs Feraoun disclosed that the 560km Oran-Valencia (Orval) submarine cable linking Oran in Algeria to Valencia (Spain) – which was scheduled to be RFS in the first quarter of 2017 but was subsequently delayed due to ‘bureaucratic burdens’ – will be operational by June 2017. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s Cable Compendium, the Ministry of Posts, IT and Communications (MPTIC) and equipment vendor Alcatel-Lucent (now part of Nokia) signed a turnkey agreement for the construction of the Orval fibre-optic network in May 2015. The 100Gbps system will deliver an ultimate design capacity of 20Tbps when completed.

Internet users in Madagascar are experiencing connectivity issues, following a disruption to the country’s primary fibre-optic cable, the Eastern Africa Submarine System (EASSy). Telma Madagascar revealed that the damage occurred at a depth of 2,600 meters and about 38km offshore from the southwest coastal city of Toliara, which is the capital of the Atsimo-Andrefana region. The company added that the cable repairs required equipment to be shipped from Cape Town (South Africa), with the parts expected to arrive today (3 February 2017). Complete cable repairs would take an estimated total of 15 days, Telma said. The 10,500km EASSy cable is implemented in a protected ring configuration linking nine countries from Sudan to South Africa, via Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, Comoros and Mozambique. TeleGeography notes that Madagascar is also served by the 1,060km Lower Indian Ocean Network (LION) system.

Hudson Fiber Network (HFN) has completed the construction of a nationwide fibre-optic network, announcing the launch of services in 16 markets. The 16 markets where HFN now operates include: Boston, New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Ashburn (VA), Atlanta, Miami, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Jose, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Denver, Chicago, Minneapolis and St. Louis. The data transport service provider also touted a fibre cable backbone in the northeast New Jersey corridor with 864 fibres.

Lastly, Ooredoo Tunisia has expanded its presence in Europe by establishing a PoP in Palermo, Italy. The new PoP is located at TI Sparkle’s Sicily Hub and is connected to all cable landing stations which utilise the facility. The new launch is the latest in a series of initiatives that have resulted from Sparkle and Ooredoo Global Services’ strategic agreement, which was signed in April 2016. Once connectivity is finalised and operational, other units within the Ooredoo Group will also be able to access the new PoP.

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