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

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1 Jun 2018

TE SubCom has announced that a contract is now in force to construct the ICN2 submarine cable project for Vanuatu-based consortium Interchange Limited. It will connect Port Vila and Luganville in Vanuatu to Honiara (Solomon Islands). The 1,632km cable will provide initial 200G capacity to several landing sites utilizing SL14-A1 cables and Ciena’s Submarine Line Terminating Equipment (SLTE). The companies announced that they expect the system to be ready for service (RFS) in Q4 2019. Simon Fletcher, CEO of Interchange Limited, said: ‘ICN2 is the first CIF submarine cable to the Solomon Islands. With the planned future systems in the region, we feel confident they will be complementary and serve to build a redundant and reliable network. This should provide some confidence to regional investors and data centre partners.’

Gibraltarian Prime Minister Fabian Picardo has expressed his ‘full support’ for the Quantum Cable project aiming to link Asia and the US via the Mediterranean Sea, adding that the government has interest in landing the cable in Gibraltar. Further discussions between Quantum Cable’s CEO Nasos Ktorides and government officials focused on establishing a data centre that would support the Quantum Cable at the two ends – Gibraltar and Cyprus. Ktorides said: ‘As the project developer of the super-fast subsea data cable that has reached a mature stage and is proceeding according to schedule, we welcome discussions with the government of Gibraltar and all stakeholders along the route that would be interested to be involved in the Quantum Cable.’ Quantum Cable will connect Cyprus with Israel and Greece (with landings in Crete and Attica), and extend further to Italy, France and Bilbao (Spain), where it will interconnect with the 160Tbps MAREA submarine cable stretching 6,600km across the Atlantic Ocean to Virginia (US). The Quantum Cable will have a capacity of up to 160Tbps and is estimated to cost USD200 million; the system is expected to enter commercial services by October 2020.

The Savusavu cable branch, which will connect the Tui-Samoa undersea cable to Fiji’s island of Vanua Levu, is expected to be ready for commercial service by 21 June, The Fiji Times reports. The extension is part of the Tui-Samoa turnkey contract awarded to Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN). The 1,470km Tui-Samoa system linking the Polynesian islands of Samoa with Fiji will offer design capacity of at least 8Tbps using 100G transmission technology, with initial landing points in Apia and Tuasivi (Samoa) and Suva (Fiji) and extensions to Savusavu and the French overseas collectivity (collectivite d’outre-mer) of Wallis and Futuna.

Deutsche Telekom (DT) has announced that it has received a commission to supply broadband internet to the island of Fraueninsel, the second-largest in the Chiemsee lake in Bavaria (Germany). Telekom said it will lay a 1.2km undersea fibre-optic cable as part of the upgrade, which will provide Gigabit-speed connections for 300 residents. DT said it could take up to 36 months to complete this project given its technical demands.

The Indonesian government is expecting to complete the construction of a broadband network in the eastern part of the country under the Palapa Ring Project II by September this year, The Jakarta Post writes. Communications and Information Minister Rudiantara was cited as saying: ‘… all should be completed by the end of 2018. Hopefully, [the installation work] will be finished in August so that we can proceed with a stability trial in September.’ According to TeleGeography’s Cable Compendium, the deployment contract was awarded by Indonesia’s Ministry of Communication and Information to a consortium comprising Jakarta-based Mora Telematika Indonesia (Moratelindo), Inti Bangun Sejahtera Tbk (IBST) and Smart Telecom in September 2016. Under the concession, the consortium will be responsible for connecting East Nusa Tenggara, Maluku, West Papua and Papua with 8,454km of fibre-optic cable. The IDR14 trillion (USD1 billion) Palapa Ring II infrastructure project, which is scheduled to be completed in 2018, will comprise the deployment of 13,000km of undersea fibre-optic cables across the archipelago’s 33 provinces. The planned network will comprise three sections: western, central and eastern, with the Pandawa Lima consortium – consisting of LEN, Teknologi Riset Global Investama, Sufia Techologies, Bina Nusantara Perkasa and Multi Kontrol Nusantara – awarded the contract for the deployment of the central portion of the project, linking Kalimantan, Sulawesi and North Maluku via 2,700km of cabling. Meanwhile, in March 2016 Palapa Ring Barat – a consortium consisting of Moratelindo and Ketrosden Triasmitra – won the contract for the construction of the western section of the Palapa Ring Project II, comprising the deployment of 2,000km of fibre-optic cable connecting Riau province, the Riau Islands and the Natuna Islands.

An unnamed global carrier has selected Zayo Group Holdings for dark fibre infrastructure in the UK. The solution includes 1,800km of dark fibre to connect several data centres across the UK. Zayo’s UK network extends from Glasgow and Edinburgh in the north, to Birmingham and Manchester and includes dense metro fibre in London. The dark fibre solution represents the first phase of a multi-phase infrastructure project for the customer.

Telia Carrier has established its first PoP in Belgrade (Serbia) to provide the area’s customers with a direct link to the Telia Carrier backbone. Serving as a connectivity hub for surrounding countries to advance the availability of high-speed IP transit, cloud connect, Ethernet, and IPX services, the PoP will also offer a transport interconnection point for international customers that need dedicated connectivity to Serbia. Previously, customers had to access the Telia Carrier backbone through Budapest, Frankfurt, or Vienna.

Lastly, Ciena Corporation has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately-held Packet Design, a provider of network performance management software focused on Layer-3 network optimisation, topology and route analytics. The acquisition of Packet Design will help accelerate Ciena’s Blue Planet software strategy by extending its intelligent automation capabilities beyond Layers 0-2 and into IP with new capabilities to help customers optimise service delivery and maximise network utilisation. The transaction is expected to close during Ciena’s fiscal third quarter 2018 and is subject to customary closing conditions.

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Fiji, Gibraltar, Indonesia, Serbia, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN), Arelion (formerly Telia Carrier), Ciena Corporation, Deutsche Telekom (DT), Interchange (Vanuatu), Ministry of Communication and Information (MCI), SubCom, Zayo Group