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

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25 May 2018

Cameroonian state-owned telecoms provider CamTel has announced the start of the installation works on the South Atlantic Inter Link (SAIL) system aiming to connect Kribi (Cameroon) and Fortaleza (Brazil), Journal de Cameroun reports. According to CamTel, the boat carrying 6,000km of cable landed in Kribi on 16 May, with the marine deployment scheduled to take between 50 and 75 days (80km to 120km of cable to be laid per day). Adopting Huawei Marine’s advanced 100G technology, the 5,900km system will feature four fibre pairs with a design capacity of 32Tbps. When completed in September 2018, the system – which is aiming to be the ‘first direct access cable connecting Africa and South America’ – will provide reliable, high-quality telecoms infrastructure to support growth in the two developing regions. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s Cable Compendium, in December 2016 French cable manufacturer Nexans disclosed that it will supply the required submarine repeatered optical cables (ROC) for the SAIL system. The cables were manufactured and tested at Nexans’ Rognan factory in Norway.

Madeira-based telecoms provider Emacom has signed a contract with the developers of the EllaLink (previously known as EulaLink) project – aiming to provide the first direct submarine fibre-optic cable between Europe and Latin America – committing to connect the Portuguese archipelago of Madeira with a dedicated fibre pair on the system. As currently planned, EllaLink will bring 72Tbps of connectivity between the two continents. The 10,119km-long EllaLink will land at Sines in Portugal and at Praia Grande near Sao Paolo (Brazil), with branches to Fortaleza (Brazil), Madeira and the island nation of Cape Verde. Brazilian state-owned telecoms infrastructure provider Telebras will have a 35% stake in the cable and Spain’s IslaLink will hold 45%, while pan-European equity fund Marguerite II signed an agreement last week to join the EllaLink submarine cable system as a new sponsor. The system will be deployed by Nokia’s Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) unit.

Global Marine (GM) has completed a desktop study (DTS) for the proposed England Cable, a submarine fibre-optic system connecting Seaton Sluice (UK) to Stavanger in Norway across the North Sea. The study provides the optimal route for the system, which will comprise six fibre pairs (Express route) and two fibre pairs for off-shore operations. The new 722km system will feature initial capacity of 400Gbps, with five fibre pairs between Newcastle and Stavanger still available for sale. All permitting applications needed for proceeding to the next deployment stage have been submitted to the Norwegian and UK authorities, with the Norwegian government now expected to determine the financial support for the project. If a decision is reached in 2Q18, the ready for service (RFS) date for the system will be Q4 2019.

Internet users in Bangladesh are experiencing service disruptions, caused by the ongoing maintenance works of the Chennai portion of the SeaMeWe-4 system. Mashiur Rahman, managing director of Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Ltd (BSCCL), said that in order to alleviate the deficiency, bandwidth supply from a second submarine cable – SeaMeWe-5 – has been increased from 150Gbps to 240Gbps. Bangladesh’s current bandwidth consumption is around 600Gbps, of which 400Gbps is being supplied by the state-run company while the rest comes from India through terrestrial cable.

Telecom Egypt’s 50% owned subsidiary the Egyptian International Submarine Cables Company (EISCC) has signed a sale and purchase agreement (SPA) with Orascom Telecom Media & Technology Holding (OTMT) for the acquisition of the Middle East and North Africa Submarine Cable (MENA Cable) for a total enterprise value of USD90 million. The transaction is scheduled to be completed in 60 days, after fulfilment of all conditions precedents. EISCC’s financial advisers include KPMG and First Capital Financial Advisory. The 8,100km MENA Cable lands in Italy, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Egypt and India.

Internap Corporation (INAP) has selected Ciena to support a multi-phase initiative to enhance INAP’s US and international networks. Ciena was selected to deliver its Coherent WaveLogic technology to enable interconnectivity across three core data centres in New York, Dallas, and San Jose, while Ciena’s Waveserver platform will be deployed to provide additional capacity. Following the deployments, INAP will launch Metro Ethernet services in six key markets, namely Boston, Chicago, Dallas, New York, Phoenix, and the Bay Area.

Lastly, Coriant says that Marseilles-based HOPUS has selected its Coriant Groove G30 Network Disaggregation Platform for upgrades to the company’s high-capacity transport infrastructure. Supporting 100G DWDM transport between the Paris and Amsterdam metro markets, the new fibre network deployment will enable delivery of end-to-end internet exchange and IP services.

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