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

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12 May 2017

Dublin-based network solutions provider Aqua Comms has revealed plans to develop a diverse, high capacity submarine cable system from Dublin (Ireland) to Manchester and the Isle of Man (both in the UK). The CeltixConnect-2 fibre-optic system is designed to complement the existing Irish Sea submarine cable network CeltixConnect-1. The new cable, which will provide onward connectivity to New York (US) and London (UK) via Aqua Comms’ America-Europe Connect (AEConnect) submarine network, will support transmission capabilities of 8QAM, 16QAM and beyond. Formal survey work for CeltixConnect-2 will commence in Q3 2017. In addition to the CeltixConnect-2 project, Aqua Comms is in the preliminary stages of developing the North Sea Connect cable, which will connect the northeastern part of the UK with Denmark across the North Sea.

GU Holdings (an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Google), Edge Cable Holdings (a subsidiary of internet giant Facebook) and Pacific Light Data Communication (PLDC) have submitted an application to the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for a licence to construct, land and operate the Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN), which is aiming to link El Segundo (California, US) with Deep Water Bay (Hong Kong), Toucheng (Taiwan) and Aurora and San Fernando City (both in the Philippines). The 12,871km system will have a total capacity of 120Tbps. The main trunk between the US and Hong Kong will consist of six fibre pairs, and will be owned by the three applicants; the branch to Taiwan will be wholly-owned by Google Cable Bermuda, while the two branches to the Philippines will be owned by Edge USA’s affiliate Edge Network Services. The terrestrial segments between the Hong Kong landing station and the Hong Kong terminal station will be wholly-owned by PLDC. In addition, a fourth stubbed branch is also under consideration, and if constructed, it would be controlled by PLDC. The system, which is expected to cost roughly USD400 million, is currently scheduled for commercial launch in Q3 2018. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s Cable Compendium, PLDC selected TE SubCom for the construction of the PLCN system in November 2015.

Canadian dark fibre supplier Crosslake Fibre has announced plans to deploy a submarine cable system linking Toronto (Canada) and Buffalo (New York, US) via Lake Ontario. Crosslake claimed that the submarine cable will provide diversity from other routes between the two cities, in addition to lower latency. The submarine cable network, which will land northwest of Lockport on the US shores and close to Toronto’s downtown core on the Canadian end, is expected to be ready for service (RFS) by September 2018. Crosslake will own and operate the system as an independent operator and will offer dark fibre and managed services to enterprise and carrier customers, as well as ultra-low latency services to financial networks.

The offshore and inshore marine surveys for the full route of the SEA Cable Exchange-1 (SeaX-1) submarine cable, which will connect Mersing in Malaysia with Changi (Singapore) and Batam (Indonesia), has now been completed, according to vendor Huawei Marine Networks. The 250km system will comprise 24-fibre pairs and is scheduled to be RFS in Q1 2018. The system will be wholly-owned by Singapore-based Super Sea Cable Networks, which has a licence for facilities-based operations (FBO) in Singapore; the landing in Malaysia will be supported by telecoms infrastructure provider SACOFA, while its Indonesian affiliate Super Sistem Ultima will oversee the Indonesian portion of the project. The rollout will comprise three stages, scheduled to be in development until 2021. The first phase will connect Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, while the second stage will connect Singapore to the US via Guam.

A Russian subsidiary of Huawei Technologies has embarked on a marine survey for the deployment of a submarine fibre-optic network to the Kuril Islands on behalf of national operator Rostelecom, following the award of the RUB324.9 million (USD5.7 million) contract to Huawei in January 2017. Design work on the RUB3.3 billion system is expected to be finalised this autumn, with construction scheduled to begin in 2018. Roughly RUB2.7 billion of the required funds for building the submarine system will be allocated by the government as subsidies to Rostelecom, while the rest will be obtained through ‘non-budget sources’. The 940km backbone network – which will boast a total capacity of 40Gbps – is aiming to connect the city of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk in the Sakhalin region with the towns of Kurilsk and Yuzhno-Kurilsk, as well as the settlement of Krabozavodskoye. The Kuril Islands, which are technically situated in Sakhalin Oblast, form a volcanic archipelago that stretches approximately 1,300km north-east from Hokkaido, Japan, to Kamchatka, Russia, separating the Sea of Okhotsk from the North Pacific Ocean.

Philippines-based operator Globe Telecom has signed an agreement with Belau Submarine Cable Corporation (BSCC) to interconnect the Southeast Asia-United States (SEA-US) cable with an in-deployment submarine fibre-optic spur to the Republic of Palau for onward connectivity via five 100Gbps wavelengths to Guam. According to Globe, construction of the spur from Ngeremlengui state in Palau to the SEA-US cable to the north is well advanced, with the modular Cable Landing Station expected to arrive at Koror this week. The trans-Pacific SEA-US submarine cable, which is aiming to link the Philippines and Indonesia to the west coast of the US via Guam and Hawaii, is currently under construction by NEC and is scheduled to be RFS in Q3 2017, while the spur to Palau is expected to enter services in December.

Intelligent transport networks provider Infinera has announced a successful submarine field test with Canalink across its 1,393km Canalink submarine cable connecting the Conil landing point on the Spanish mainland with Tenerife in the Canary Islands. The test, conducted with the Infinera Infinite Capacity Engine (ICE4) and featuring Infinera’s fourth-generation photonic integrated circuit (PIC), demonstrated the capability to upgrade the cable capacity 13-fold. Canalink, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the ITER group, operates a system of undersea fibre-optic cables linking the Canary Islands with the Iberian Peninsula and the western coast of Africa.

Elsewhere, Japanese equipment vendor NEC Corporation has demonstrated a transmission capacity of 50.9Tbps on a single optical fibre over a distance greater than 11,000km using C+L band erbium-doped fibre amplifiers (EDFA).

SDN equipment manufacturer Coriant has completed a network trial featuring disaggregated 100G, 150G, and 200G transmission over live fibre-optic links in Telefonica Deutschland’s existing 10G DWDM dispersion compensated network. The trial was conducted earlier this year using the Coriant Groove G30 Network Disaggregation Platform and demonstrated the ability to cost-efficiently maximise deployed optical infrastructure using class disaggregated optical transmission and open networking capabilities. Later this year, the companies will conduct additional alien wavelength testing with the disaggregated Coriant Groove G30 muxponder solution across Telefonica’s 100G national backbone network.

Lastly, Seaborn Networks has revealed that Spread Networks is now Seaborn’s exclusive channel partner for sales to the financial vertical on the Seabras-1 system between New Jersey (US) and Sao Paulo (Brazil). Circuits for the financial industry will be activated on Seabras-1 in July 2017.

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