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

17 Feb 2017

Vietnam’s CMC Telecom has begun the construction of a VND200 billion (USD8.81 million) nationwide cable system. The 2,000km system will be routed through 20 cities and provinces across the country, including Hai Phong, Thanh Hoa, Vinh, Hue, Quy Nhon and Nha Trang. The fibre-optic network is expected to be ready for service (RFS) in mid-2017.

Meanwhile, Filipino telecoms giant PLDT has revealed that a PHP1 billion (USD20 million) terrestrial fibre-optic cable linking the provinces of Agusan del Norte and Davao del Sur (located on the island of Mindanao) will be completed this year, thus increasing capacity in the southern part of the country. The Standard writes that the 320km cable will run through four provinces in Mindanao, namely Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Davao del Norte and Davao del Sur. PLDT chairman and chief executive Manuel Pangilinan said: ‘In line with the government’s thrust of accelerating economic growth in Mindanao, the fortified FOC, which is part of PLDT’s Domestic Fibre Optic Network will provide unrivalled communications services to our fixed and wireless customers, including homes and businesses in these provinces.’

Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks has been contracted to undertake an emergency repair of the Globacom-1 (GLO-1) submarine fibre optic cable in UK territorial waters, KIS-ORCA writes. The 9,800km cable – which was developed by Nigeria’s second national operator Globacom and French-US vendor Alcatel-Lucent – stretches from the UK across West Africa and has landing points in Nigeria, London and Lisbon, connecting 17 countries to the rest of the world. The cable repair – which started on 16 February – is expected to take seven days, depending on the weather and other operational conditions. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Globacom contracted Alca-Lu to install the cable system in 2005, in order fill the void of international connectivity in the region. The USD250 million cable (with ultimate capacity of 2.5Tbps) landed in Lagos in September 2009 and Accra in Ghana the following month, and has been ready for service (RFS) since July 2010.

Elsewhere, the CS Wave Sentinel vessel is expected to commence repair works on the SeaMeWe-3 submarine cable system on 19 February, with the damaged section of the cable – Segment S10 (located in the North Sea between the landing stations in Norden, Germany and Oostende, Belgium) – expected to take five days to patch. TeleGeography notes that the 39,000km SeaMeWe-3 is the sole operating link between Australia and Singapore. The submarine infrastructure has been damaged on numerous occasions in recent years, with the most recent fault reported in late 2015.

UK-based business communications service provider Gamma has concluded an access agreement with pure-fibre provider CityFibre to connect 15 data centres and exchanges across the UK over CityFibre’s long-distance and metro networks. The agreement, which runs through to 2042, will deliver multi-Terabit core and multi-Gigabit access speeds using 1,300km of dark fibre in a fully resilient ring configuration, between Manchester and London.

Telecom Italia Sparkle, the international service arm of Telecom Italia (TIM), has been selected as main Global IP Transit Service Provider to CESNET through an agreement with Czech ISP Prozeta. The agreement will provide CESNET with access to Sparkle’s Tier 1 Global IP Transit backbone Seabone, which delivers connectivity to Prague (Czech Republic) and Bratislava (Slovakia).

Colt Technology Services is deploying Ciena’s packet-optical technology to future proof its network. The partnership with Ciena strengthens Colt’s high-bandwidth push across Europe and Asia, enabling ultra-high bandwidth services across its 100Gbps-enabled metro and multi-Terabit backbone networks. The network upgrade supports growth across a number of key European markets including London, Frankfurt, Paris and Amsterdam, as well as improving intercontinental connections into Asia including Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Private equity investment firm H.I.G. Capital has acquired all of the assets of UK-based subsea fibre-optic solutions provider Xtera Communications. H.I.G. previously provided debtor-in-possession financing to the Xtera debtors in connection with the firm’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy case. Xtera supplies unrepeatered and repeatered subsea systems, using high performance optical amplifiers to carry data. Xtera’s founder Stuart Barnes disclosed: ‘We are delighted to announce our new partnership with H.I.G. Capital, which has previously invested in the fibre-optics sector and has a proven understanding of how to grow specialist industrial suppliers into market-leading players. We share the same vision of strengthening Xtera’s footprint in the future.’ The deal follows the recent divestment of H.I.G. Capital’s subsidiary Fibercore (a UK-based designer and manufacturer of specialty optical fibre) to Humanetics Innovative Solutions, a portfolio company of Golden Gate Capital that supplies precision test systems and sensor products, for undisclosed sum. H.I.G. acquired Fibercore from Cisco, in a carve-out transaction back in 2011.

Lastly, Integrated Device Technology (IDT) has agreed to buy the developer of communications semiconductors and optical components GigPeak for approximately USD250 million, in an all-cash transaction. The companies expect the deal, which is not subject to a financing condition, to complete during the second calendar quarter of 2017.

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