Internet giant Google is collaborating with Orange Group on a new 6,600km trans-Atlantic cable named Dunant, which will link Virginia Beach in the US to France. As the French landing partner, Orange will build and operate the landing station on the French Atlantic coast and provide the backhaul service to Paris. The Dunant cable will comprise four fibre pairs and will be constructed by TE SubCom, and is expected to be ready for service (RFS) in 2020. A terrestrial network, which will extend the system to Belgium, is also planned. 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: 2019).
Aqua Comms, which owns the America Europe Connect-1 (AEC-1) and CeltixConnect-1 (CC-1) submarine cables, says that survey work on its North Atlantic Loop project is about to begin. The initiative is part of a larger effort that includes construction of America Europe Connect-2 (AEC-2), Aqua Comms’ share of the HAVFRUE undersea cable network that will connect New Jersey with Ireland, Denmark and Norway. The North Atlantic Loop will comprise a pair of submarine cables: CeltixConnect-2 (CC-2), which crosses the Irish Sea and links Dublin and Blackpool; and North Sea Connect (NSC), which crosses the North Sea and joins Newcastle and Denmark. The two submarine systems will combine with existing infrastructure to create a ring-based network to provide connectivity across mainland Europe, the UK and Ireland, with an onward path to the US.
Deep Blue Cable, which is in the process of developing a subsea fibre-optic system designed to boost connectivity across the Caribbean and the Americas, has announced that it will support the multi-million dollar, 15-year ICT contract recently issued to Digicel Group by the governments of Saint Lucia, Grenada and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Denis O’Brien, founder and chairman of Digicel, incorporated Deep Blue Cable to construct and operate a new subsea system to serve the region and meet the requirements for its significant international subsea capacity supply in the Caribbean. Digicel has described itself as ‘a substantial anchor client’ of Deep Blue Cable, which is expected to be RFS in mid-to-late 2019.
Elsewhere, Digicel Fiji has announced that its network is now connected to the Tui Samoa submarine cable, boosting connectivity on the northern island of Vanua Levu. Digicel Fiji CEO Mike Greig commented: ‘This is perfect timing, we are celebrating a milestone ten years in Fiji this month and this new connection to the Savusavu cable system provides our customers with world-class internet speeds, reliable data and mobile phone experience. The new system is more resilient and now reduces the risk of outages during cyclones, floods and bad weather conditions.’
Sticking with the Pacific, Solomon Islands Submarine Cable Company Limited (SISCC) has contracted infrastructure firm XSite Modular to build four modular cable landing stations in the Pacific nation. The new cable landing stations will be deployed in Honiara, Auki, Noro, and Taro, and will form part of the Islands’ planned subsea network. This network will include the Coral Sea Cable System, a 4,000km cable system linking Solomon Islands with Papua New Guinea and Australia. The network is being funded by the Australian government and will be operated by Australia’s Vocus Group. It will be the first subsea cable to directly reach the Solomon Islands. In addition, the 730km Solomon Islands Domestic Network (SIDN) will connect Taro, Noro and Auki with SISCC’s international hub in Honiara. This cable is also being funded by the Australian government as part of its development assistance programme.
HAWE Telekom of Poland and Ukrainian firm Atracom have connected their fibre-optic networks at the Dorohusk (Poland)-Jahodyn (Ukraine) border crossing. Atracom claims to preside over the largest fibre-optic network in Ukraine, which exceeds 24,000km and boasts cross-border connections with Belarus, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Moldova and Romania. For its part, HAWE Telekom operates its own 3,600km fibre network.
Zayo Group has announced expansions of its fibre networks in four European markets, namely London (the UK), Paris (France), Dublin (Ireland) and Amsterdam (the Netherlands). In London, Zayo is building a new fibre route from Hatfield (Hertfordshire) to Stratford (East London), as part of a strategic ring outside of the city. In Paris, Zayo is expanding its fibre footprint in La Defense, while in Dublin, a multinational company has selected Zayo for a fully diverse dark fibre ring around the metro area. In Amsterdam, Zayo is upgrading and expanding its fibre network between Schiphol-Rijk and the Amsterdam Science Park. These new metro networks connect with Zayo’s pan-European and global fibre network, including Zayo’s nine data centres located throughout Western Europe.
Brazilian telecoms operator Aloo Telecom has deployed Infinera’s Cloud Xpress and DTN-X platforms to address increasing bandwidth demand on its long-haul and data centre interconnect networks. Aloo, which launched in Alagoas in June 2003, serves more than 3,000 private and public sector clients including cloud operators, internet content providers and ISPs across 14 Brazilian states.
Finally, Zambia’s Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) has sold its 50% shareholding in CEC Liquid Telecom to pan-African telecoms group Liquid Telecom. Until now, CEC and Liquid Telecom were equal partners in the joint venture subsidiary since 2011. With this acquisition, Liquid Telecom now has full ownership of CEC Liquid Telecom and its retail arm, Hai Zambia.
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