Mumbai-based telecoms provider Reliance Jio Infocomm has revealed that the Asia Africa Europe-1 (AAE-1) submarine cable system has entered commercial operations. The 25,000km network – owned by a consortium of 19 global service providers – connects Asia, the Middle East, East Africa and Europe. AAE-1 is described as ‘the longest 100Gbps technology-based submarine system’ and offers design capacity of over 40Tbps. The fibre-optic system landed in Pakistan earlier this week, with 19 international terminal stations – out of a total of 21 (20 landing points and a land extension in Singapore) – now live. AAE-1 consortium member Retelit of Italy disclosed that the last section of the system connecting the Hong Kong PoP will be completed ‘immediately after the summer’.
A trio of companies – China-based operator China Unicom, Cameroonian state-owned telecoms provider CamTel and equipment vendor Huawei Marine – have signed an agreement to construct the South Atlantic Inter Link (SAIL) system aiming to connect Kribi (Cameroon) and Fortaleza (Brazil). Adopting Huawei Marine’s advanced 100G technology, the 6,000km system will feature four fibre pairs with a design capacity of 32Tbps. When completed, the network – which is aiming to be the ‘first direct access cable connecting Africa and South America’ – will provide reliable, high-quality telecoms infrastructure to support growth in the two developing regions. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s Cable Compendium, in December 2016 Nexans disclosed that it will supply the required submarine repeatered optical cables (ROC) for the SAIL system. The cables will be manufactured and tested at Nexans’ Rognan factory in Norway, with contract delivery scheduled to be completed by the end of 2017.
The TKO Express system connecting Hong Kong’s data centre campuses of Chai Wan and Tseung Kwan O (TKO) has entered operations. The construction of the cable system – which features 1,728 fibre cores – was completed earlier this year, with full end-to-end testing of the system commencing on 20 February. TKO Express is owned and operated by Asian dark fibre and Ethernet provider Superloop. The cable was manufactured in Prysmian’s Calais (France) factory and was airlifted to Sydney (Australia) for the application of additional layers of moisture barriers and aluminium tape, with final sheath applied in the group’s Liverpool (Australia) plant. The whole manufacturing process took a total of six months.
The government of the Solomon Islands and the newly established Solomon Islands Submarine Cable Company (SISCC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Huawei International for the deployment of the Solomon Islands Submarine Cable (SISC) linking the South Pacific nation to the rest of the world. Under the turnkey contract, Huawei will deploy a 3,400km fibre-optic cable from Sydney to Honiara, comprising two optical fibre pairs with potential capacity of 2.5Tbps, in addition to a 600km domestic network linking Noro in the Western Province and Auki (Malaita Province) with Honiara. The planned system – expected to be ready for service (RFS) in early 2019 – also includes a Branching Unit for a possible use by another regional operator.
Internet services in Congo-Brazzaville have now been restored, following a two-week disruption to the WACS system caused by a fishing vessel 12km from Pointe-Noire in mid-June, AfricaNews writes. During the system repair, services were offered using VSAT links connected via a cable from Kinshasa in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Three East African Community (EAC) member countries – Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania – have agreed to speed up interconnectivity between their respective National Fibre Networks. Mr Bagiire Vincent Waiswa, Permanent Secretary of Uganda’s Ministry of ICT and National Guidance, told the Daily News that negotiations between the sector ministries are currently being finalised to ensure that the interconnection was completed within the set timeframe: ‘In some cases, road networks had already been connected. What now remains is interconnection of ICT between the three countries. We are looking forward that the exercise will be completed soon. These are the final steps.’
Lastly, GTT Communications has agreed to acquire US-based service provider Global Capacity from owner Pivotal Group for USD100 million in cash and 1.85 million shares of GTT common stock. The announcement comes hot on the heels of GTT’s planned takeover of Perseus (revealed earlier this month) and a deal to acquire Hibernia Networks (announced in November 2016). Global Capacity operates a software-defined backbone network, dubbed One Marketplace, which covers 98% of US businesses (85% of global businesses). The deal will expand GTT’s overall footprint with last-mile connectivity to more than 9.6 million US commercial addresses, from 41 data centres and 1,750 central office PoPs.
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