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

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23 Jun 2017

Greenland’s state-owned telecoms and postal services operator TELE-POST has revealed that the cable manufacture of the Greenland Connect Nord submarine cable is nearly complete, following a staff visit to the cable production plant in France earlier this month. The USD45 million network – deployed by Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) – will link Nuuk, Maniitsoq, Sisimiut, Qasigiannguit and Aasiaat. The cable will be approximately 700km long, and will feature several different types of cable, adapted to suit the seabed conditions between Nuuk and Aasiaat. According to the provided timetable, the manufactured cable will be delivered to Nuuk at the end of July, and it will reach its final destination Aasiaat at the end of August. Deployment works should be finalised in September/October, with extensive testing set to take place in October/November. The system is expected to enter services on 1 December 2017.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Bill English has revealed plans to provide USD15 million investment for the planned Manatua submarine cable linking the Pacific Islands of Niue, Samoa, the Cook Islands and French Polynesia, Radio New Zealand writes. Speaking at a press conference with Cook Island PM Henry Puna in Rarotonga, Mr English said: ‘When completed it will link Rarotonga and Aitutaki to faster, low-cost, internet that is essential for economic and social development.’ As previously announced by TeleGeography’s Cable Compendium, an international intergovernmental treaty for the deployment of the submarine cable was signed in March 2017.

The Asia Pacific Gateway (APG) submarine cable network, connecting nine Asian nations – Vietnam, Japan, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, South Korea and Thailand – was damaged on 20 June, thus affecting internet users in central parts of Vietnam, Vietnam Net writes. The 10,400km system – which was certified ready for service (RFS) in November 2016 – suffered problems shortly after its launch, in late December, resulting in its shutdown in mid-January, along two other systems serving the region, the Asia America Gateway (AAG) and Intra Asia (IA). VNPT-Vinaphone disclosed that it is ‘cooperating with foreign partners to clarify the reason behind the incident’, adding that it has switched traffic to the Southeast Asia-Middle East-Western Europe 3 (SMW-3), AAG and China-Southeast Asia Terrain Cable System (CSC) systems.

MainOne Cable Company has revealed that the Main One submarine cable system linking Portugal to Ghana and Nigeria has been damaged ‘3,000km offshore Portugal’. The fault, which the company claims is ‘the first of its kind in seven years of existence’, caused disruptions in services to international connectivity customers. The company said in a press release: ‘Supported by our cable maintenance arrangement with the Atlantic Cable Maintenance & Repair Agreement (ACMA), we immediately mobilised a repair vessel from France on early Monday morning to pick up the necessary spares and personnel to recover the affected sections of the submarine cable in the Atlantic Ocean and effect repairs. The current estimated time for the repairs may be up to 14 days.’

GTT Communications has provided further details on its recently announced acquisition of New York-based provider of managed services Perseus, a Goldman Sachs Group-backed firm which has a presence at over 100 data centres and offers proximity hosting in over 300 exchanges and trading venues. The takeover will extend the reach of GTT’s global Tier 1 IP backbone with new PoPs and routes connecting key markets in Latin America, Asia Pacific, India and South Africa. GTT will pay USD37.5 million for the unit, plus the assumption of approximately USD3 million in capital leases.

Australian telco Vocus Communications is planning to reject the AUD2.2 billion (USD1.6 billion) bid for 100% of the company’s shares submitted by US-based private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) earlier this month, as the offer was viewed as ‘opportunistic’, Computer Daily News writes. Vocus CEO Geoff Horth has revealed that while some assets – including data centres – could be up for sale, the company is still planning to push ahead with its Australia-Singapore Cable (ASC) project aiming to link Australia with Indonesia and Singapore; Vocus expects to finalise a number of ‘cornerstone’ contracts for the submarine cable in 30 to 45 days. Vocus CFO Mark Wratten was cited as saying that the ASC funding was ‘a pretty big hot topic in the boardroom and the executive room … there’s a huge amount of capex associated with ASC in the first half of next year, of AUD90-95 million.’ ASC commercial director John Allerton, meanwhile, said that the planned RFS date of August 2018 would yield a ‘key first mover advantage’ in realising the ‘pent-up contestable demand’ on the route.

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Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Greenland, Niue, Samoa, Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN), GTT Communications, MainOne Cable, Perseus, Tusass (formerly TELE Greenland), VNPT-Vinaphone, Vocus Group (incl. Commander, Dodo, iPrimus)

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