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

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13 Jul 2018

The Bay to Bay Express Cable System (BtoBE) consortium, composed of China Mobile International, Facebook and Amazon Web Services, has signed an agreement with NEC Corporation to build a 16,000km submarine cable connecting Singapore, Hong Kong and the United States. The cable system, which will feature multiple pairs of optical fibre, is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2020.

The Kanawa cable, which will link French Guiana, Martinique and Guadeloupe, is expected to be ready for service (RFS) in January 2019. Deployment of the 1,746km sub-sea cable is due to begin at the end of this month. Wholly-owned by Orange Group, the new system will also provide interconnections with the Americas II cable in Martinique and French Guiana, and the East Caribbean Fibre System (ECFS) in Guadeloupe and Martinique.

Indian telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has handed NEC Technologies India (NECTI) the contract to design, engineer, supply, install, test and implement an optical submarine cable system connecting Chennai and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands (A&N Islands). NEC Corporation, the parent company of NECTI, will manufacture the optical submarine cable and provide technical assistance during the turnkey implementation. The 2,300km cable will link Chennai to Port Blair and connect the islands of Havelock, Little Andaman (Hutbay), Car Nicobar, Kamorta, the Great Nicobar Islands, Long Island and Rangat. The cable will carry 100Gbps optical waves.

Metro Optic, Crosslake Fibre and Utilities Kingston have unveiled plans to build a new fibre-optic cable system from Montreal to Toronto known as Maple Leaf Fibre. The project will be developed by Maple Leaf Fibre Ltd, a joint venture between Toronto-based Crosslake and Montreal-based Metro Optic. The cable system will have a terrestrial segment between Montreal, Ottawa and Kingston, and a submarine segment across Lake Ontario, linking Kingston and downtown Toronto. The cable – which will offer commercially-available dark fibre between Toronto and Montreal – is expected to be completed during the second half of 2019.

Mexican cableco Megacable has revealed plans to deploy a fibre-optic submarine cable connecting La Paz (in Baja California Sur) with Topolobampo (Sinaloa). The company expects to invest MXN450 million (USD23.6 million) in the 250km system, which will be deployed by Huawei Marine; the deployment is expected to take nine months.

Southern Cross Cables has provided an update on its NEXT subsea cable system, confirming that submarine cable construction company SubPartners has completed its landing arrangements in Sydney. In other news, Asia-Pacific fibre infrastructure company Superloop – which acquired SubPartners in April 2017 – has signed on to become a direct customer of the Southern Cross cable system, replacing its previous resale channel arrangement with Southern Cross Cables.

Russia’s MegaFon has launched a new 3,200km high speed terrestrial Moscow-Frankfurt cable route via Belarus, with initial capacity of 1.7Tbps. Natalya Taldykina, director of corporate business development at MegaFon, said: ‘The construction of the new Moscow-Frankfurt route was another step towards strengthening MegaFon’s position in the European-Asian transit market, where fast delivery of content is a key indicator. All free capacity has already been booked by customers [including Russian and international telecom operators] before the end of 2018, and this is the best proof that the decision to build the route was right.’

Finally, Paul Kaba Thieba, the Prime Minister of landlocked Burkina Faso, has inaugurated a new fibre link connecting capital city Ouagadougou to Dakola, next to the Ghanaian border. Work on the 307km system commenced back in October 2016, with Huawei undertaking the deployment. Burkina Faso received funding of XOF11.5 billion (USD20.5 million) from the World Bank to support the project.

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Australia, Burkina Faso, Canada, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Hong Kong, India, Martinique, Mexico, Russia, Singapore, United States, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), China Mobile Communications Group, China Mobile International, Crosslake Fibre, Facebook, HMN Tech (formerly Huawei Marine), Megacable, MegaFon, Metro Optic, NEC, Orange Group, Southern Cross Cable Network (SCCN), Superloop (incl. SuperBB)

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