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

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10 Aug 2018

Indian telecom operator Bharti Airtel has announced a submarine cable partnership with Telecom Egypt, under which it will get Indefeasible Rights of Use (IRUs) on the Middle East North Africa Submarine Cable (MENA Cable) and the TE North cable system, while also securing large capacities on two new cable systems, the SeaMeWe-5 and the Asia Africa Europe-1 (AAE-1) networks. Airtel will have the right to use fibre pairs on the MENA Cable from Egypt to India with access to Saudi Arabia and Oman, and other fibre pairs from Egypt towards Italy. Airtel will also get the right to use a fibre pair from Egypt to France on TE North, along with capacities on SeaMeWe-5 and AAE-1 cable systems. Ajay Chitkara, CEO at Airtel Business, said: ‘The partnership including MENA Cable and TE’s network will be a good addition to our global network portfolio and provide us with a high quality and diversified new route to Western Europe and the rest of the world.’

Alcatel Submarine Networks’ (ASN’s) cable laying ship Ile de Batz has arrived in the Hao atoll (French Polynesia) from Papeete, with roughly 1,000km of the NATITUA submarine cable now being laid out, Radio New Zealand (RNZ) writes. 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. The AUD65 million (USD48 million) NATITUA cable 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.

Filipino fibre provider Converge has revealed plans to roll out its network to Visayas and Mindanao, in addition to expanding and improving services in Luzon. The five-year project is expected to cost USD2 billion. Converge is working with three international subcontractors for the project: Korea Telecoms and LSI-Fibernet Konstrukt Corporation will deploy the terrestrial backbone in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, while TE SubCom will lay the submarine system in the Visayas connecting multiple large islands in the region. Converge is aiming to complete the project by 2021, though segments of the Luzon rollout are expected to enter services as early as the end of 2018 while phases of the Visayas and Mindanao rollout are expected to be completed by mid-2019, and early 2020, respectively.

Coriant has announced that Brazilian regional telecommunications service provider Copel Telecom has deployed its 200G optical transmission technology to scale its fibre-optic backbone network in the State of Parana. Powered by Coriant CloudWave Optics, the ultra-high speed solution enables Copel Telecom to meet growing bandwidth demands of its end-user customers, while enhancing the high-quality, low latency performance of end-to-end service connectivity. Copel Telecom’s fibre-optic network provides high-speed internet services in more than 81 cities, with carrier-class corporate services offered in all 399 municipalities in Parana.

Vodafone Wholesale, a subsidiary of Vodafone Ghana, has deployed a second fibre-optic network connecting Ghana to landlocked countries in West Africa, including Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, Cote d’Ivoire and Togo via Dakola, a town situated on the border with Burkina Faso. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s Cable Compendium, the Burkina Faso government inaugurated a new fibre link connecting capital city Ouagadougou to Dakola, next to the Ghanaian border, in July 2018. 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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Brazil, French Polynesia, Ghana, Philippines, Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN), Bharti Airtel, Coriant, Ligga Telecom (formerly Copel Telecom), Office des Postes et Telecommunications (OPT), SubCom, Telecom Egypt, Vodafone Ghana

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