The deployment of the Australia Singapore Cable (ASC) has been completed with the final splice laid to Singapore and is moving into ‘full configuration’ mode, with a ready for service (RFS) date of September 2018. The 4,600km ASC cable will link Perth to Singapore via Jakarta in Indonesia, with an onward spur to the Christmas Islands; the cable will boast a minimum of four fibre pairs with a design capacity of 40Tbps. Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) began the cable construction in late March, with 1,600km deployed by the Ile de Re cable laying ship (in charge of the Singapore-Christmas Island section), while the remaining 3,000km were laid by the Ile de Batz ship (Christmas Island-Perth). Vocus Group CEO Kevin Russell said: ‘This final leg from Christmas Island to Singapore presented the greatest engineering and technical challenges, and it’s a great credit to the team that we [are] on track in final configuration phase.’ The executive highlighted that ASN was also enlisted to construct the Coral Sea Cable System (CSCS), which will link Australia to Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. The 4,000km cable – to be co-funded by Australia and the Solomon Islands – is expected to be completed by late-2019. Vocus was awarded the AUD137 million (USD101 million) contract by the Australian government in June.
IOX Cable, a subsidiary of INDOI Group, has revealed that the first section of the IOX Cable System aiming to link South Africa with India is scheduled to go live in the second half of 2019. One portion of the cable will connect La Cambuse in Mauritius and Grand Baie in autonomous outer island of Rodrigues to Puducherry (India), with a potential link to Sri Lanka. Another section will link La Cambuse with East London (South Africa), with potential landings in Madagascar and the French overseas territory of Reunion. Future plans include a cable system from Mauritius to Seychelles and Mombasa (Kenya), and a cable system to Egypt with onward connectivity to Europe. The underwater route survey operations – which will access the seabed conditions, cable design and cable installation programme – began in Mauritius in April 2018, with Rodrigues and South Africa to follow. The 8,850km cable – which is being built by ASN – will have a design capacity of 13Tbps per fibre pair and will deliver an ultimate design capacity of over 52Tbps.
Mashiur Rahman, managing director at Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited (BSCCL), has revealed that internet users in the country are expected to experience slow broadband speeds until 20 July, due to repair work and setting up of repeaters on the SeaMeWe-4 cable. Traffic during the repair work will be routed via alternative links, including the SeaMeWe-5 system. Bangladesh was connected to its first submarine cable (SeaMeWe-4) in 2005, through which it receives up to 250Gbps of bandwidth. The landing station of the second submarine cable SeaMeWe-5 was inaugurated in Patuakhali’s Kalapara in September 2017.
Fiji International Telecommunications (FINTEL) has signed an Operations Management Agreement with the Government of Fiji for the Savusavu cable branch, which connects the Tui-Samoa undersea cable to Fiji’s island of Vanua Levu. The subsea cable system entered operations on 12 July, and is expected to boost speeds to 100Gbps from the 2Gbps provided via microwave links between Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. The extension is part of the Tui-Samoa turnkey contract awarded to 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. The Fijian government contributed FJD1.5 million (USD713,100) and borrowed FJD5.95 million from the World Bank for the project.
Infinera has announced its intent to acquire Germany-based SDN equipment manufacturer Coriant. Under the terms of the definitive purchase agreement governing the acquisition, subject to customary adjustments, Infinera will pay approximately USD230 million in cash and will issue approximately 21 million shares, which when combined with the cash consideration, results in total transaction consideration of approximately USD430 million. The acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter of 2018, subject to customary closing conditions. The board of directors of Infinera has unanimously approved the transaction. Infinera CEO Tom Fallon said: ‘Acquiring Coriant is a fantastic opportunity, strengthening our ability to serve the world’s largest network operators, accelerating our ability to leverage vertical integration and reinforcing our commitment to our long-term business model … This powerful combination immediately benefits our combined customers by delivering the innovative technology required for the next wave of network spending.’
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