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

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16 Feb 2018

The South Atlantic Cable System (SACS) connecting Africa and South America has landed at the port of Pecem in the city of Fortaleza (Brazil). Construction work on the 6,300km cable commenced in Luanda (Angola) in December 2017, with the fibre cables transported to Brazil by the French ship Le Rene Descartes. The system consists of four pairs of 100Gbps fibres each, with a total transmission capacity of 40Tbps. The cables were buried at a depth of 1.5 metres in shallow water and 7,000 metres deep on the high seas, to avoid possible damage. Wholesale carrier Angola Cables hired equipment vendor NEC to deploy the system, with Orange Marine in charge of the deep-water laying phase of the cable rollout. The USD160 million cable was financed by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), with support from Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) via the Banco de Desenvolvimento de Angola (BDA). The SACS is expected to be ready for service (RFS) in Q3 2018.

Mukesh Ambani-headed Reliance Industries (RIL) has sought the support of the Andhra Pradesh government for setting up an international submarine cable landing station (CLS) at Visakhapatnam, an official said. News source writes that the CLS will connect the east coast with Andaman and Nicobar Islands (a union territory of India situated in the Bay of Bengal), Southeast Asia and onwards. No further details of the proposed project were revealed because of ‘strategic reasons.’

Imad Kreidieh, chief of Lebanese operator Ogero Telecom, has confirmed that the 12,091km IMEWE cable linking India and Europe via the Middle East was undergoing maintenance, though he said that the work should be completed by 15 February without significant interruption to users, Zawya writes. ‘The IMEWE [India-Middle East-Western Europe] cable is undergoing regular maintenance, which takes about four to five days normally,’ Kreidieh said. The executive added that recent complaint for slower-than-normal speeds were not linked to the maintenance, as the company was running at just below 80% of capacity: ‘These [reports] could be a different problem, something minor, but not related to the ongoing work.’

The National Information Technology Authority Uganda (NITA-U) has revealed that the procurement process for the fourth phase of the National Data Transmission Backbone Infrastructure and e-Government Infrastructure Project (NBI/EGI) has commenced. According to NITA-U, applications for the implementation of the contract have now been opened, with the technical evaluation of the received bids currently underway. NITA-U issued a tender for the fourth phase of the NBI/EGI in August 2017. The project will see the supply and installation of 842km of aerial fibre-optic cable to extend the coverage of the National Data Transmission Backbone Infrastructure (NBI) to Moroto, Katakwi, Karuma, Pakwach, Nebbi, Arua, Koboko, Yumbe, Moyo and Adjumani, including three border points of Mpondwe, Vurra and Oraba. Some 50km out of the total span is to be ducted and deployed underground within town areas. The first phase of the NBI saw the deployment of a 198km fibre-optic network connecting the capital Kampala with Mukono, Jinja, Bombo and Entebbe. The second phase comprised 1,400km of fibre connecting Busia, Tororo, Mbale, Malaba, Kumi, Soroti, Lira, Gulu, Elegu, Masindi, Kyenjojo, Fort Portal, Kasese, Bushenyi and Mbarara. The third phase (completed in December 2016) saw the rollout of 756km of fibre along the following routes: Kampala-Masaka-Mbarara-Katuna (to the border with Rwanda), Masaka-Mtukula (border with Tanzania) and Masindi-Hoima-Kyenjojo.

Lastly, Telia Carrier has announced that internet provider Pilot has deployed its IP Transit services across the northeastern US to enable regional infrastructure expansion and support backbone traffic. For the past two years, Pilot has used Telia Carrier to deliver services to over 1,250 businesses and 75,000 end users. Pilot’s high-IQ fibre-optic internet services provide businesses with speeds of up to 10Gbps in offices and 100Gbps in data centres.

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Angola, Brazil, India, Lebanon, Uganda, Angola Cables, Infotel Broadband (Reliance Industries - RIL), National Information Technology Authority Uganda (NITA-U), NEC, Ogero Telecom, Orange Marine

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