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

24 Feb 2017

Telefonica of Spain has reached an agreement with global investment firm KKR Group for the sale of up to 40% of its infrastructure unit Telxius, for a total amount of EUR1.275 billion (USD1.35 billion). Under the agreement (subject to regulatory approvals), Telefonica will remain the anchor client for Telxius’ tower and cable businesses. It will keep a majority stake and operational control of Telxius and continue to consolidate it into its accounts. Telxius operates Telefonica Group´s international network of 65,000km of submarine fibre-optic cables (31,000km of which are Telefonica-owned), including SAM-1, a submarine cable that connects the United States with Central and South America.

Asian dark fibre and Ethernet provider Superloop has completed the installation of TKO Express domestic submarine cable project, which runs across Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour, linking the data centre campuses of Chai Wan and Tseung Kwan O (TKO). The company said that full end-to-end testing of the cable – which comprises a total of 1,728 fibre cores – started on 20 February, with the project team now moving on to complete the testing and commissioning of TKO Express into the wider Hong Kong 2,000 fibre core backbone network. The cable is expected to be available for customer access during March 2017. Superloop CEO Bevan Slattery said: ‘To see more than two years of hard work and effort in designing, planning and now finally building TKO Express culminate in this landmark achievement is a testament to our vision to be the leading provider of digital connectivity services in the Asia Pacific region.’

Angola Cables has revealed that it has completed the cable route study of the South Atlantic Cable System (SACS), which aims to directly link the African and South American continents, Agencia Angola Press writes. In Fortaleza (Brazil), the 6,500km SACS system – which is scheduled to be ready for service (RFS) in Q3 2018 – will interconnect with another system developed by Angola Cables, the 10,556km Monet cable. Monet is currently designed to deliver over 60Tbps of capacity between the Brazilian cities of Santos and Fortaleza and Boca Raton, US. Construction of the six-fibre-pair system is currently underway, and is expected to be completed in 2017. Elsewhere, Angola Cables has chosen one of Africa’s largest internet exchange points (IXP) NAPAfrica as its peering point, in a bid to expand its reach and peering capabilities in sub-Saharan Africa. NAPAfrica, which is colocated within all data centre facilities operated by South African independent data centre company Teraco, has over 240 unique connected networks and 140Gbps of peering traffic.

Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited (BSCCL) – the company in charge of the Bangladeshi portion of the SeaMeWe-5 project – has revealed that the country has been connected to its second submarine link, with an additional 1500Gbps of bandwidth capacity provided by the new infrastructure. BSCCL acting managing director Abdus Salam Khan said: ‘The link was officially set up at a meeting of the SeaMeWe-5 in Istanbul (Turkey) on Tuesday [21 February],’ adding that test transmission has started but it will be available commercially once the transmission link from the capital Dhaka to the landing station in Kuakata is completed. The 20,000km SeaMeWe-5 cable, with a design capacity of 24Tbps, links 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 fibre-optic network – certified RFS in December 2016 – was built by Alcatel Submarine Networks (Sri Lanka-France deployment) and Japan’s NEC Corporation (Singapore-Sri Lanka segment).

PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom) has deployed Coriant’s optical transport and universal switching technology as part of a nationwide upgrade to its fibre-based backbone network, thus aiming to improve the performance and increase the capacity of its terrestrial and subsea optical transport infrastructure. In addition to terrestrial 100G backbone upgrades, the combination of Coriant’s hiT 7300 Multi-Haul Transport Platform and CloudWave Optics coherent interface technology enables Telkom to further boost capacity on its JASUKA submarine cable, which connects the Java, Sumatera and Kalimantan islands. Initial implementation includes operational deployment of 16 100G optical channels across an unrepeatered and DCM-free subsea transmission distance of over 350km between Dumai (Sumatra) and Dangas.

Finland-based Cinia Group has entered into an interconnection agreement with Russian communications provider TransTeleCom (TTK), which is wholly-owned by state railway firm Russian Railways, thus adding a brand new independent optical path and the ‘lowest latency route’ to the centre of Europe. The new agreement interconnects TTK’s Eurasia Highway – a nationwide long-distance fibre transmission network laid along major railway routes – with Cinia’s Northern Digital Highway, which leverages the C-Lion1 submarine cable. The 1,200km fibre-optic system has landing stations in Rostock in the north German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Finland’s capital Helsinki and consists of eight optical fibre pairs, with a total capacity of 144Tbps.

Germany-based international carrier Core-Backbone has deployed the Infinera Cloud Xpress to interconnect PoPs in Frankfurt, Munich and Nuremberg (Germany) in a bid to expand capacity for its customers. Core-Backbone is a service provider delivering IP transit, Layer-2 connectivity and remote peering to internet exchanges across Europe. Core-Backbone selected the Infinera Cloud Xpress to provide 100Gbps services across its major routes.

An unnamed global cloud provider has selected Zayo Group Holdings for metro dark fibre in Chicago. The project will connect six data centre locations with 20 diverse segments totalling 280 strands across all segments, with up to 26 strands per segment. The solution is built on Zayo’s dense metro network in Chicago, with more than 90% of the solution leveraging in-place network.

Lastly, Lumos Networks, a US fibre-based service provider based in the Mid-Atlantic region, has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by the EQT Infrastructure investment firm, for USD18.00 per share, resulting in an enterprise value of approximately USD950 million. Completion of the transaction is subject to shareholder approval, regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions. The acquisition is expected to be completed during the third quarter of 2017. Lumos Networks serves carrier, enterprise and data centre customers, and offers end-to-end connectivity in 24 markets in Virginia, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Ohio and Kentucky. The telco’s networks span 9,204 fibre route miles and 475,507 total fibre strand miles, connecting 1,297 unique fibre-to-the-cell sites and 36 data centres, including seven company owned co-location facilities.

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