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

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20 Jul 2018

Hawaiki Submarine Cable has commenced commercial operations over its 15,000km fibre-optic cable linking Australia, New Zealand and the US with a number of South Pacific Islands and Hawaii. The cable has a design capacity of 43.8Tbps, with Hawaiki director Malcolm Dick saying that there is room to expand the capacity in the future, as faster technology is built onto the endpoints of the network. Cable vendor TE SubCom, which deployed the system, will maintain the link during its 25-year lifespan.

Google has announced plans to deploy a trans-Atlantic cable named Dunant, linking Virginia Beach in the US to France. The 6,400km cable will add dedicated capacity to Google’s global network and will enable interconnection to other subsea infrastructure in the region. A terrestrial network, which will extend the system to Belgium, is also planned. The Dunant cable will comprise four fibre pairs and will be constructed by TE SubCom, with an expected ready for service (RFS) date of 2020. The system will be Google’s second privately-owned submarine network, as the company is also developing the Curie cable project between Los Angeles (US) and Valparaiso in Chile (RFS in 2019).

Seaborn Networks and Grupo Werthein de Argentina have revealed that the planned ARBR submarine cable system between Argentina and Brazil will be landing at Telecom Argentina’s cable landing station in Las Toninas, Argentina. In addition, Telecom Argentina will provide ARBR with dark fibre on a backhaul route between Las Toninas and Buenos Aires, and a PoP in Buenos Aires. The 2,700km ARBR cable will comprise four fibre pairs with an initial maximum design capacity of 44Tbps. ARBR’s Brazil landing will be at Seaborn’s existing Seabras-1 cable landing station in Praia Grande (Brazil), thus enabling direct onward connectivity to New York (US) over the fully operational Seabras-1. Construction of the ARBR cable is scheduled to commence in 2018 and to be completed in 2019.

Construction work on the NATITUA submarine cable project is expected to commence by the end of this month, following the arrival of Alcatel Submarine Networks’ (ASN’s) cable laying ship Ile de Batz in Papeete, the capital of French Polynesia. Spanning more than 2,500km, the NATITUA system (with design capacity of 10Tbps) will link Tahiti to eight atolls in the archipelago of Tuamotu – Rangiroa, Manihi, Takaroa, Kaukura, Arutua, Fakarava, Makemo and Hao – with two islands of Marquisas, namely Hiva Oa and Nuku Hiva. NATITUA will extend the existing Honotua cable system, which connects the French Polynesian islands of Tahiti, Moorea, Huahine, Raiatea and Bora Bora to Hawaii (US). As previously reported by TeleGeography’s Cable Compendium, the Office of Post and Telecommunications (Office des Postes et Telecommunications, OPT) and Nokia’s ASN signed a turnkey agreement for the deployment of the subsea cable system in July 2017.

Submarine cable solutions provider E-marine has secured a contract from Huawei Marine Networks to install the Mauritius and Rodrigues Submarine Cable System (MARS) linking the islands of Rodrigues and Mauritius. The new 700km system will offer a bandwidth design capacity of 16Tbps and is due to be RFS in 2019, with PCCW Global in charge of the cable operation.

Liquid Telecom and Telecom Egypt have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will enable Liquid Telecom to complete Africa’s terrestrial fibre network stretching from Cape Town (South Africa) to Cairo (Egypt). Under the MoU, Liquid Telecom will link its 60,000km pan-African network with Telecom Egypt’s network via a new cross border interconnection in Sudan. The Cape Town-to-Cairo network – often referred to as the One Africa broadband network – has been in deployment for over ten years.

A USD44 million fibre-optic link connecting Pakistan with China, which was jointly developed by Pakistan’s Special Communication Organisation (SCO) and Huawei, has now been completed, The Nation writes. The 820km Pakistan-China Optical Fibre Cable Project, which is part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), links Rawalpindi in Pakistan’s Punjab region with Khunjerab – located in the Gilgit-Baltistan region on the China-Pakistan border – thus providing an alternative route between Pakistan and China. The system is also backed by a 172km aerial cable, while a second phase of the project is likely to connect to the port of Gwadar in Balochistan. SCO’s Director General Maj-Gen Bajwa said that after its approval in 2010, work on the project was launched in 2016. He added that the link had already been established with the Chinese side at the border and was successfully tested for end-to-end connectivity.

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