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

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8 Sep 2017

Mauritius-based IOX Cable Ltd has announced that its planned submarine cable linking South Africa with India, via landings in Mauritius and the autonomous outer island of Rodrigues, will also connect to the French overseas territory of Reunion. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, IOX Cable and Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN), part of Nokia, signed a turnkey agreement for the deployment of the 8,850km IOX Cable System in June 2017. Providing an ultimate design capacity of over 13Tbps per fibre pair, the system seeks to reinforce Mauritius’s reputation as a communications hub.

Bangladesh’s second submarine cable SeaMeWe-5 will start commercial operations on 10 September, after a protracted delay in the deployment of a transmission link from the capital Dhaka to the landing station in Kuakata, The Daily Star writes. The government previously declared its target to inaugurate the terrestrial connection by mid-March, though the Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Limited (BTCL) could not set up the network between the landing station and the capital within the stipulated time, and a scheduled launch in July was again cancelled due to ‘disruptions.’ 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 ready for service (RFS) in December 2016 – was built by Alcatel Submarine Networks (Sri Lanka-France deployment) and Japan’s NEC Corporation (Singapore-Sri Lanka segment). Bangladesh will benefit from an initial bandwidth of 200Gbps from the link, which will rise to 1,500Gbps in phases.

Papua New Guinea’s USD100 million project to deploy a submarine cable from Sydney to Port Moresby is reportedly ready to be tabled before the Cabinet this month, Post-Courier reports. Shortlisted vendors have already been selected, but will officially be revealed once the process is finalised. TeleGeography notes that Papua New Guinea is currently connected to the Australia-Papua New Guinea-2 (APNG-2) system, which was certified RFS back in 2006, but only has around two years of service left, and the 6,900km PIPE Pacific Cable-1 (PPC-1) linking Madang in Papua New Guinea to Sydney (Australia).

Bolivian state-owned telecoms group Empresa Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (Entel) – not to be confused with the Chilean Group of the same name, which offers services in Peru under the Entel Peru and Americatel bands – will create a Peruvian subsidiary to construct and manage a fibre-optic network within the Peruvian territory. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s Cable Compendium, Entel announced in July this year that it would invest between USD40 million and USD60 million in the deployment of a fibre-optic cable through Peru to the Pacific Ocean, where it would connect to submarine cable networks. The fibre deployment is expected before the end of 2017, and will take around a year to complete. Elsewhere, Uruguayan operator Antel is to set up a new company in Argentina to sell capacity on the Tannat submarine cable linking Maldonado in Uruguay with the city of Santos in Brazil, reports El Observador, citing the company’s president Andres Tolosa. ‘We have already created a company in Brazil, we already had one in the US and we are setting one up in Argentina to sell the submarine cable’s capacity in the international market.’

Another submarine cable – the Asia Submarine-Cable Express (ASE) – has reportedly been damaged off the coast of Hong Kong, following outages reported in the TGA-Intra Asia (TGA-IA), Asia-American Gateway (AAG) and SeaMeWe-3 systems last week. The cable owners expect repairs to take well into October, depending on the availability of repair vessels and how long it takes to locate the breaks.

Econet Global’s subsidiary Liquid Telecom, which bought South African ISP Neotel earlier this year in a ZAR6.5 billion (USD507 million) deal, has completed 100G upgrades to key routes on its East Africa fibre ring. ‘For the first time, Liquid Telecom will provide 100G links to the cities of Kigali in Rwanda, Kampala and Tororo in Uganda, and Nairobi and Mombasa in Kenya, with further 100G upgrades planned for the East Africa fibre ring in the near future,’ the company said. The East Africa ring forms a key part of Liquid Telecom’s pan-African fibre network, which consists of 50,000km of infrastructure linking Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania, with onward connectivity to its fibre networks in Burundi and the eastern parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Lastly, BICS has announced it will deploy a third fibre route between Marseille and Paris, lowering latency and protecting inbound voice and data traffic from Asia and the Middle East. The route is expected to be commercially live by the end of the year. BICS has partnered with internet exchange points AMS-IX, LINX, DE-CIX, NL-IX and France-IX, thus boosting interoperability and connecting Southern Italy and Marseille to Frankfurt, Paris, Amsterdam and London via several routes.

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