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

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21 Dec 2018

Telstra is set to acquire a 25% stake in Southern Cross Cable Network (SCCN) through the acquisition of new shares, while also agreeing to purchase a ‘substantial’ capacity on SCCN’s existing network and the in-development Southern Cross NEXT submarine cable aiming to link Australia, New Zealand and the US. New Zealand telco Spark said that as a result of Telstra’s share purchase, its holding will be diluted to around 37.5%. Other shareholders of SCCN are Singapore’s Singtel and Verizon Business. Michael Ebeid, Group Executive Enterprise at Telstra, said: ‘Telstra has long been a key customer of Southern Cross and this investment will mean Telstra has an immediate ownership interest in the existing Southern Cross network, as well as in Southern Cross NEXT … This route is extremely important to our business as US to Australia traffic accounts for more than 80% of all the internet traffic to Australia.’ SCCN owns and operates the trans-Pacific Southern Cross Cable and has initiated work on the Southern Cross NEXT cable, which is scheduled for completion by end-2020. The new 12,250km cable system has been developed as an extension of the existing Southern Cross eco-system. The 72Tbps Southern Cross NEXT is expected to cost around USD300 million, with its construction set to be funded by a combination of capacity payments, equity contributions and financing. SCCN has completed pre-sales, marine survey, landing arrangements, Pacific Island agreements, detail design and the cable RFT of the Southern Cross NEXT project.

Acacia Communications has announced the first 400G single carrier DWDM transmission on the MAREA submarine cable between Virginia Beach (US) and Bilbao (Spain). The field demonstration showcased that improvements in capacity and spectral efficiency can enable increased utilisation of deployed fibre and improved network capacity. The MAREA submarine cable – stretching 6,600km across the Atlantic Ocean from Bilbao to Virginia Beach – is a joint project between Telxius, Facebook and Microsoft.

Telecom Egypt has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Fiber Misr, which will see the two companies boost their cooperation in the maintenance and installation of submarine cables, management of maritime projects and offering logistic services to ships and cable recharging services, Egypt Today writes. These services will be offered to the Mediterranean, Red Sea, Arab Gulf and East Africa regions. The MoU was signed by managing director and CEO of Telecom Egypt Ahmed Beheiri and managing director and CEO of Fiber Misr Ahmed Mekki.

Vocus has revealed that the Australia Singapore Cable (ASC) system has suffered a fault between Perth (Australia) and Singapore. The 4,600km ASC cable links Perth to Singapore via Jakarta in Indonesia, with an onward spur to the Christmas Islands; the cable boasts four fibre pairs with a design capacity of 40Tbps. The Indonesia-Perth section of the system is not affected by the cut. Vocus disclosed that the location of the fault had been identified, with repair work currently underway. The system is expected to be back in service by 31 December 2018.

Fixed line incumbent Telecom Malagasy (TELMA) has announced that its national fibre backbone has reached 9,000km, following the completion of two new fibre routes: Antsohihy-Bealanana-Andapa-Sambava and Antsohihy-Mandritsara-Andilamena-Tanambe. In addition, a new fibre route from Ihosy to Tolarno is also currently under construction. According to L’Express de Madagascar, the operator planned to invest up to USD250 million over the three years to 2019 in order to expand its national fibre backbone from 5,000km to 11,000km.

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