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

13 Apr 2018

Seaborn Networks COO Andy Bax has revealed that the first direct subsea fibre-optic cable system connecting South Africa to Brazil is set for commercial launch in 2020, ITWeb reported. The company – which operates the Seabras-1 system connecting Sao Paulo (Brazil) to New York (US) – revealed plans in November 2017 to provide ‘the first subsea fibre-optic route between the US and India that will interconnect in South Africa and Brazil’ in partnership with IOX Cable; the operator said at the time that the new SABR system will interconnect the Seabras-1 network with a landing site in Cape Town (South Africa). Mr Bax said that the project is in its development phase, with work currently focused on technical specifications, physical routing and identifying potential landing sites on each of the coasts, as well as talking to all the different parties that have shown an interest in the cable. The executive also added that the new cable system between Northern Brazil and Cape Town will cost anything in the region of USD120 million to USD140 million.

IOX Cable, a subsidiary of INDOI Group, has launched the first phase of the deployment of the IOX Cable System aiming to link South Africa with India, via landings in Mauritius, the autonomous outer island of Rodrigues and the French overseas territory of Reunion. The underwater route survey operations – which will access the seabed conditions, cable design and cable installation programme – have begun in Mauritius with Rodrigues and South Africa to follow. The 8,850km cable – which is being built by Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) – will have a design capacity of 13Tbps per fibre pair and will deliver an ultimate design capacity of over 52Tbps. The cable is scheduled to be ready for service (RFS) in Q4 2019.

Telecom Egypt’s (TE’s) board of directors has determined to reduce the earlier proposed dividend for FY 2017 to EGP0.25 (USD0.014) from EGP1 per share due to a new investment opportunity in the submarine cable industry. In a statement, TE said the move to amend the dividend proposal comes in light of the company’s decision to preserve the revenue stream of the cable systems segment. CEO Ahmed El Beheiry added that further disclosure will be made regarding all details related to the investment opportunity once the commercial arrangements have been concluded.

Mauritania was taken offline for two days following last week’s fault in the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable which runs along the west coast of Africa between France and South Africa. According to reports, the damage occurred near Noukachott (Mauritania), with roughly ten of ACE’s landing sites suffering ‘significant disruptions’. The other affected nations appeared to have sufficient redundancy in place to mitigate the effects of the ACE cable outage.

An unnamed global cloud provider has selected Zayo Group Holdings for a high-capacity dark fibre ring in the Montreal metro area. Zayo will extend its existing dense network in Montreal, building a 60km ring for the anchor tenant along the South Shore, the city’s growing technology and data centre hub. The network will further densify Zayo’s Montreal network, expanding it into several metro municipalities. The build will include an expansion cable, with ample capacity for expected follow-on sales in multiple sectors.

Cisco has successfully upgraded Colt Technology Services’ pan-European, Asian and US packet fibre-optic network, enabling Colt IQ Network to provide further differentiated, high-bandwidth connectivity. In December 2016 Cisco and Colt announced that they were working on a system-wide, multiple 100Gbps upgrade to Colt’s IQ Network by combining segment routing and Ethernet VPN (EVPN). EVPN delivers accelerated convergence times and offers the unified control plane protocol Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) for all service types, including Layer-2 and Layer-3 VPN services.

Conterra Networks has completed its previously announced acquisition of Louisiana-based regional fibre-optic providers Network USA and Sun America (combined Network USA). The transaction increases Conterra’s fibre presence in Louisiana and Texas by nearly 3,000 miles, expanding its regional fibre footprint throughout the Gulf Coast/East Texas region and providing entry into two new states: Arkansas and Mississippi. The Network USA fibre network is complementary to the assets of Conterra’s previously announced acquisition of Louisiana-based network services provider Detel Communications. Conterra Networks’ President and COO Craig Gunderson commented: ‘We have accelerated the merging of the two organisations to fully leverage the human capital and capabilities of both companies. The combined company will accelerate growth and strengthen Conterra Networks’ competitive position in the region.’

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Egypt, Mauritania, Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN), Cisco Systems, Colt Group (formerly Colt Telecom), Conterra Broadband Services, IOX Cable Ltd, Seaborn Networks, Telecom Egypt, Zayo Group