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

8 Feb 2019

Huawei Marine has completed the second phase of its West Africa Cable System (WACS) upgrade by utilising Flex Grid and Optical pass-through technologies to deliver what it claimed was ‘the world’s longest 100G subsea cable system.’ The WACS realised 32×100G configured on an amplified single fibre span. The 14,530km WACS cable – which was commissioned in May 2012, with an initial design capacity of 5.12Tbps – spans the west coast of Africa, linking South Africa to Portugal, with landings in Namibia, Angola, the DRC, Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Cape Verde, the Canary Islands and Portugal.

Nigeria’s second national operator Globacom has announced it will launch its second submarine fibre-optic cable Glo-2 between the third and fourth quarters of 2019, The Daily Trust writes citing Globacom’s Group Technical Officer Sanjib Roy. The new 850km cable, which will be built along the Nigerian coast from Alpha Beach in Lagos to the Southern part of Nigeria, will be integrated into Globacom’s existing terrestrial backbone network to provide additional service redundancy. The system will comprise three fibre pairs; the first pair will connect Lagos directly to the Southern part of Nigeria with terrestrial extension to other parts of the country for redundancy and maintenance purposes. The second will be equipped with eight switchable Branching Units (BUs) which will deliver high capacity to offshore oil stations and communities connected directly to BUs, while the third pair will be equipped with two switchable BUs to Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea. Elsewhere, Globacom has embarked on a 100G capacity upgrade of its Glo-1 submarine cable, Communications Week reports. The 9,800km cable – which was developed by Globacom and French-US vendor Alcatel-Lucent – stretches from the UK across West Africa and has landing points in Nigeria, London and Lisbon, connecting 17 countries to the rest of the world.

Construction work has commenced on the Coral Sea Cable System (CSCS) landing site at Lengakiki in Honiara (the Solomon Islands). The 4,700km subsea network will connect Sydney (Australia) to Port Moresby (PNG) and Honiara in the Solomon Islands. The four fibre-pair international system will deliver a minimum of 20Tbps capacity to Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands respectively, bringing a total capacity of 40Tbps. The CSCS project also includes a 730km submarine cable system, known as the Solomon Islands Domestic Network, connecting Honiara to Auki (Malaita Island), Noro (New Georgia Island) and Taro Island. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s Cable Compendium, in July 2018 Australia’s Vocus Group enlisted Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) to build the 4,000km CSCS cable. The AUD137 million (USD101 million) cable project – awarded to Vocus by the Australian government in June – is expected to be completed by late-2019.

The Djibouti Africa Regional Express 1 (DARE1) consortium, the State Department of ICT and Telkom Kenya have concluded a raft of commercial negotiations in Djibouti, with Telkom Kenya agreeing to act as the landing partner for the DARE1 cable in Kenya, CIO West Africa writes. The 5,400km DARE1 submarine cable system, to be supplied by TE SubCom, will connect Djibouti (Djibouti), Mogadishu, Berbera and Bosaso (Somalia) and Mombasa (Kenya) and will deliver up to 30Tbps of capacity. Future options for expansion of the cable include major coastal cities in the Somali territories and other countries in East Africa and the Horn of Africa. The DARE1 cable is configured as a three-fibre pair trunk, with each fibre pair delivering a cross-sectional capacity of 150 channels at 100Gbps. DARE1 will include diversified PoPs with options for future connectivity via TE SubCom’s optical ROADM product line. The cable will also connect to the global network via multiple cable systems in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Angola Cables’ landing station in Fortaleza (Brazil), which was built to house the Monet cable system linking Boca Raton in Florida (US) to Fortaleza and Santos in Brazil, has been awarded Tier III Certification. Angola Cables claims that ‘this is the first time that a Tier III facility has been built in the region to support a submarine cable and its backhaul.’

The 827km Tonga Cable between Sopu (Tonga) and Suva in Fiji, which was damaged in late January, has now been repaired, Radio New Zealand writes. The cable repair ship Reliance located the damaged section near Tongatapu on 29 January, with the cable found lying around 100 metres south-east off-course from where it was originally laid. Work to splice the cable commenced on 1 February. During the repairs, international services in the island nation were provided via satellite networks.

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