Saint Lucia-based Deep Blue Cable has selected TE SubCom to construct its planned submarine cable system aiming to link a number of Caribbean islands to the Americas. The Pan-Caribbean system will span 12,000km with initial landing points in the Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos Islands and the US, in addition to three other markets. The submarine cable network will have an initial capacity of 6Tbps per fibre pair. The new system will utilise TE SubCom’s optical add/drop multiplexer (OADM) branching unit technology.
PCCW Global, the international operating division of HKT, has revealed that the Asia Africa Europe-1 (AAE-1) cable has landed at the Cape D’Aguilar Cable Station (Hong Kong). 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 last week, with 19 international terminal stations – out of a total of 21 (20 landing points and a land extension in Singapore) – now live.
Orange Group has signed a construction and maintenance agreement for a new 400km submarine cable in the Indian Ocean, dubbed FLY-LION3, connecting the French overseas territory of Mayotte to Grande Comore, one of the main islands of the Comoros archipelago. The new system – to be deployed by a consortium comprising Societe Reunionnaise du Radiotelephone (SRR) and Comoros Cables – will provide an extension to the existing Lower Indian Ocean Network (LION) and Lower Indian Ocean Network-2 (LION2) systems; the 1,060km LION cable (commissioned in November 2009) connects Reunion with Mauritius and Madagascar, while the 2,700km LION2 (April 2012) extends the connection to Mayotte and Kenya. The FLY-LION3 cable will boast two fibre pairs with a capacity of 20×100Gbps each, for a total capacity of 4Tbps. FLY-LION3 will also be interconnected to the Eastern Africa Submarine System (EASSy) cable, which runs along the East African coast. The cable consortium is planning to commission the new system in 2018.
Elsewhere in the region, two operators – Airtel Madagascar and Belgacom – have reportedly joined the consortium aiming to deploy a new submarine cable link between the three island nations of Madagascar, Mauritius and Reunion. According to Agence Ecofin, the EUR75 million (USD83 million) cable will be called Meltingpot Indianoceanic Submarine System (METISS), and is expected to be ready for service (RFS) in 2018. Participants in the project have been named as Telma and Blueline of Madagascar; Emtel and CEB FiberNET of Mauritius, Zeop and SFR of Reunion, Telco OI (Reunion/Mayotte) and Canal+ of France. The project, which was initiated by the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), will benefit from the financial backing of the EU and the French Development Agency (Afd).
Abdi Anshur Hassan, Somalia’s Minister of Post and Telecommunications, has revealed that internet services in the southern part of Somalia will resume this week, following the successful repair of the EASSy submarine cable. The fault – which occurred off the coast of Somalia in late June 2017 – was reportedly caused by an unidentified commercial vessel. According to the official, the country has incurred losses of USD10 million per day due to the outage.
The Sub-Secretariat of Telecommunications (Subtel) has decided to extend the deadline for submitting applications for participation in the Fibra Optica Austral project, under which the government aims to deploy nearly 4,000km of fibre-optic infrastructure in the southern Patagonia region. Undersecretary Rodrigo Ramirez said: ‘We extended the application times in order to provide a more comfortable margin of action to the companies concerned and allow them to adequately elaborate their proposals, changes that in no way alter the award schedule and implementation schedule.’ The tender encompasses four stretches: one 450km submarine cable linking Puerto Williams with Puerto Montt, in addition to three terrestrial connections across the Magallanes, Antartica Chilena, Aysen del General Carlos Ibanez del Camp and Los Lagos regions. Regarding the submarine portion of the project, Subtel now invites proposals by 2 August, with applications scheduled to be evaluated until 3 October. The admission of proposals for the three terrestrial links will close on 17 August (to be evaluated until 17 October). TeleGeography notes that Subtel relaunched the auction in May 2017; the regulator shelved the project in October last year, after Conexiones y Telefonia Austral was named as the sole company to have submitted a bid for one of the four sections of the network. The Fibra Optica Austral project will require an investment of USD100 million and is slated for completion by 2020.
Miranda-Media, which provides services in the Crimea region, has deployed a 905km fibre-optic network connecting the city of Simferopol (Crimea) to Rostov-on-Don in Russia, following five months of construction work. The new network – with a design capacity of 4Tbps – will be used in parallel with a 20km submarine line across the Kerch Strait, which was deployed by Miranda-Media in 2014.
Construction work on Angola Cable’s data centre in the Brazilian municipality Fortaleza has commenced. The USD22.1 million facility will be financed by the Development Bank of Angola, which recently granted USD130 million to the submarine operator for the deployment of the Monet and South Atlantic Cable System (SACS). As previously announced by TeleGeography’s Cable Compendium, Angola Cables completed the marine survey for the SACS system in April this year. SACS is a 40Tbps cable – 6,165km in length – with four fibre pairs that will connect Angola to Brazil, linking Africa and the Americas; the cable is expected to be RFS by mid-2018. The 10,556km Monet system, meanwhile, 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 the second half of 2017.
Lastly, North-eastern US fibre provider FirstLight has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire US-based fibre products provider 186 Communication, which operates fibre networks in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont, for an undisclosed sum. Upon completion of this deal and FirstLight’s other pending acquisition – of Finger Lakes Technologies Group (FLTG) (announced in April this year) – the company will operate approximately 14,000 route miles of high-capacity fibre-optic network connecting nearly 8,000 locations and twelve data centres across the Northeast. The transaction is expected to close at the end of 2017, subject to customary regulatory approvals.
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