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

22 Feb 2019

NEC Corporation has been awarded a turnkey contract by Okinawa Cellular Telephone Company to design, supply and install an optical submarine cable system connecting the Okinawa and Kagoshima Prefectures in Japan. The new cable system will connect Nago City (Okinawa Prefecture) with Hioki City (Kagoshima Prefecture), with a total length of approximately 760km and a maximum depth of approximately 1,200m. The cable system will have a maximum design transmission capacity of 80Tbps and is scheduled to start operations in April 2020. NEC’s subsidiary, OCC Corporation, is tasked with manufacturing the cable.

The Mauritius and Rodrigues Submarine Cable System (MARS) linking Mauritius with the island of Rodrigues has been inaugurated. The new 730km system uses 100G WDM transmission technology to offer a bandwidth design capacity of 16Tbps and is being built by Mauritius Telecom (MT) in partnership with Huawei Marine Network, while PCCW Global is in charge of the cable operation. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s Cable Compendium, in March 2017 MT won the government’s public tender to supply the island of Rodrigues with additional bandwidth capacity over the next 20 years; MT – which was revealed as the sole bidder in the tender – proposed a total of USD97.9 million for the project.

The FLY-LION3 submarine cable connecting the French overseas territory of Mayotte to Grande Comore (one of the main islands of the Comoros archipelago) has landed at Itsandra near Moroni, the capital of Comoros, according to a government press release. The new system – owned by a consortium comprising Comores Cables (55%), Societe Reunionnaise du Radiotelephone (SRR, 22.5%) and Orange (22.5%) – will provide an extension to the existing Lower Indian Ocean Network (LION) and Lower Indian Ocean Network-2 (LION2) systems; the 1,060km LION cable (commissioned in November 2009) connects Reunion with Mauritius and Madagascar, while the 2,700km LION2 (April 2012) extends the connection to Mayotte and Kenya. The FLY-LION3 cable will boast two fibre pairs with a capacity of 20×100Gbps each, for a total capacity of 4Tbps. FLY-LION3 will also be interconnected to the Eastern Africa Submarine System (EASSy) cable, which runs along the East African coast. The cable consortium is planning to commission the new system in 2019.

Milan-listed cable maker Prysmian has been awarded new contracts worth EUR50 million (USD56.7 million) by Chilean full-service provider Grupo GTD to develop a 3,550km-long submarine fibre-optic cable system dubbed Prat. The project involves the design, supply and installation of cables stretching from Arica to Puerto Montt via Iquique, Antofagasta, La Serena, Valparaiso and Talcahuano. Prysmian will supply eleven cable segments ranging in length from 135km to 400km, to be manufactured at its production facility in Nordenham (Germany). Delivery of the cables is planned by December 2019. GTD previously announced that the network will offer an initial capacity of 4Tbps and is due for completion in H2 2020. The contracts were secured through Prysmian’s submarine division Norddeutsche Seekabelwerke (NSW), which became part of Prysmian Group following its acquisition of General Cable in 2018.

The government of Algeria has commissioned the Medex cable branch, following the connection of the system to its terrestrial fibre-optic backbone network, Algerie Eco writes. A joint project between PCCW Global and Algerie Telecom, Medex interconnects with TE North/TGN-Eurasia/SEACOM/Alexandros, a 3,634km cable system that lands in Abu Talat (Egypt), Marseille (France), Pentaskhinos (Cyprus) and Annaba (Algeria). The Medex branch has a total length of 184km and it was built and installed by Alcatel-Lucent. During the launch ceremony in Annaba ICT minister Houda-Imane Faraoun said that the 8Tbps cable will enable ‘the country to become a continental hub and a digital portal at the African level in terms of ICT.’ Another 1,160km system is also set for activation; the delayed Oran-Valencia (ORVAL) cable linking Algeria to Spain is backed by AT and after missing a previously mooted launch date of June 2017 a live switch-on is now expected by April 2020. Works on the Algerian side of the project has already been completed, while construction on the Spanish side reportedly began last week. The system will offer an initial bandwidth of 400Gbps that can be upgraded to 10Tbps and will cost the Algerian government close to USD30 million.

Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), the parent company of UAE-based telco du, has reportedly confirmed plans to launch a new submarine cable between the UAE and Pakistan, though details on the project are scant, Gulf News writes.

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Algeria, Chile, Comoros, Japan, Mauritius, Mayotte, United Arab Emirates, Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN), Algerie Telecom (AT), Du (Emirates Integrated Telecommunication Company, EITC), Grupo GTD (incl. Telsur), Huawei Marine, Mauritius Telecom (MT), NEC, Orange Mayotte, PCCW Global, Prysmian Group, SFR Mayotte