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

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22 Dec 2017

Djibouti Telecom has announced that the supply contract for the Djibouti Africa Regional Express (DARE) submarine cable system – awarded to TE SubCom – has come into force. The 5,400km cable will connect Mombasa (Kenya), Mogadishu (Somalia), Bosaso (part of Somalia’s autonomous Puntland region), Berbera (Somaliland), Mocha (Yemen) and Djibouti City (Djibouti), with an optional branch to Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), and is expected to be completed by May 2018. The 100G cable system will deliver more than 30Tbps of capacity and each branch will be implemented with optical add/drop multiplexing nodes (OADM). DARE is configured as a two fibre pair trunk and each trunk fibre pair has cross sectional capacity of 150 channels at 100Gbps.

The December 2015 outage of the Basslink submarine cable linking mainland Australia to the island state of Tasmania was caused by Basslink (BPL) exceeding its design limit, which then degraded the cable, according to reports by two experts from international engineering consultancy DNV GL. Hydro Tasmania explained: ‘The DNV GL analysis indicates that the cable had been operated by BPL in a manner that allowed it to exceed its temperature design limits during a number of periods in its service life. This overheating and subsequent cooling of the cable has resulted in degradation of the cable … DNV GL concluded that the cable failure was the probable result of electrical energy discharge within the cable as a result of polarity reversal and cooling shortly before the 20 December 2015 cable failure.’ Basslink said in April 2016 that the fault was located around 98km from the Tasmanian coast, though due to the ‘lack of visible damage’ the cable needed to be cut in order to be fixed. The submarine link went back into operation in June this year.

Angola Cables announced an agreement with the West and Central African Research and Education Network (WACREN) to support the growing connectivity among academic communities across West and Central Africa. Angola Cables is part of the consortium of companies that manage the West Africa Cable System (WACS), which provides carrier services to operators in Angola and in the Sub-Saharan region of Africa. The company is also building the South Atlantic Cable System (SACS) between Angola and Brazil – a 40Tbps cable with four fibre pairs that will connect Angola to Brazil; the cable is expected to be ready for service (RFS) by mid-2018 and will connect to the Monet submarine cable system linking Brazil and the US, which was certified RFS earlier this month.

State-backed Kyrgyztelecom has completed the deployment of its second cross-border network link with Tajikistan. The 40km international terrestrial link – at Karamik village in the southern Kyrgyz region of Osh – was required due to increased internet demand chiefly from users in Tajikistan, as well as improving the quality of its own services, Kyrgyztelecom had previously forged an agreement enabling neighbouring telco Tajiktelecom to increase the volume of purchased internet traffic via its Kyrgyz counterpart’s network, which in turn can be wholesaled to Tajik ISPs. The new link will also provide additional backup connectivity/network resilience for Kyrgyztelecom, which operates several existing international cross-border connections in northern Kyrgyzstan and in the south of the country.

Peru’s private investment promotion agency ProInversion has awarded contracts for the deployment of seven regional fibre-optic broadband networks in Amazonas, Ica, Junin, Lima, Moquegua, Puno and Tacno. Under the plans, a total of 950,000 Peruvians in 1,432 locations will benefit from improved connectivity. The contracts in Amazonas and Ica regions were awarded to the GMC Conecta Consortium, while the deployments in Lima will be overseen by America Movil. The Rural Telecommunications Consortium of Peru – consisting of Medellin Peru, Amitel Peru Telecomunicaciones and Tuensa International Corporation – was awarded the rollouts in Junin, Moquegua, Puno and Tacno. The networks will be incorporated into the National Fibre-Optic Backbone (Red Dorsal Nacional de Fibra Optica, RDNFO) – alongside a number of other projects, including initiatives in Lambayeque, Cusco and Ayacucho. The networks in Lambayeque are being rolled out by Movistar, with Gilat Networks in charge of the deployments in Ayacucho, Huancavelica, Cusco and Apurimac, while the Redes Andinas de Comunicaciones consortium is rolling out fibre in Piura, Tumbes and Cajamarca. The USD333 million RDNFO project involves the installation, operation and maintenance of around 13,500km of fibre-optic cables connecting 22 regional capitals and 180 provincial capitals.

China Unicom has partnered with Huawei to deploy Huawei’s AntiDDoS8000 products on backbone network nodes across China. This constitutes the largest anti-DDoS system on China Unicom’s network and provides comprehensive anti-DDoS protection capabilities for their customers.

Data centre operator Equinix has agreed to acquire Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan’s equity interest in the Metronode group of companies in an AUD1.035 billion (USD792 million) all-cash transaction. The acquisition is scheduled for completion in the first half of 2018. Data centre provider Metronode currently operates facilities throughout Australia.

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Djibouti, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Peru, Somalia, Tajikistan, Yemen, America Movil (AM), Angola Cables, Basslink Telecoms, China Unicom, Djibouti Telecom, Equinix, Gilat to Home Peru, Huawei Technologies, Kyrgyztelecom (incl. KT Mobile), SubCom, Tajiktelecom, Telefonica del Peru (TdP, Movistar)