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

22 Mar 2019

GITGE has announced a new project aiming to link the island of Corisco and Cabo San Juan in Equatorial Guinea via a submarine cable. The Mandji system will have a total length of 50km and will comprise a total of 48 optical fibres. A marine analysis for the most appropriate route will commence in April, with the physical construction to be finalised by September. The laying of the cable is scheduled to start later this year.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) board of directors has approved funding of USD25 million for a regional integration project aiming to connect Cape Verde to the rest of the region via an undersea link to Guinea-Bissau and the Mano River countries (Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea-Conakry). Guinean broadband operator Guineenne de la Large Bande SA (GUILAB) and Cabo Verde Telecom have already inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the deployment of the submarine fibre-optic cable called Cap Amilcar Cabral, with feasibility studies for the system set to commence soon.

TELE-POST Greenland has disclosed that following the repair of the Greenland Connect Nord submarine system, which was cut south of Sisimiut, cable ship Horizon Enabler started repair works on the damage near Qaqortoq on 19 March. The repair work is expected to take 15 to 20 days. The operator said the cable break located 70km north of Sisimiut (which was located earlier this month) cannot currently be mended because of ice. Greenland had experienced two damaged submarine cables in the span of several weeks, after the Greenland Connect cable suffered a break between Nuuk and Qaqortoq on 27 December 2018 and the Greenland Connect Nord system was cut on 21 January.

The South Africa Far East (SAFE) submarine cable is back in service after undergoing maintenance work, which started on 19 March. The maintenance work caused slowdowns in internet speeds in several African countries.

Orange Group and Nokia have announced the full migration of Orange’s long-distance network to a photonic control plane. During the migration, which involved distributing network intelligence to different equipment, the entire long-distance network (over 18,000km and 330 nodes), was simulated on platform. Orange’s French, European and Asian networks – made up of Nokia 1830 PSS WDM, which can transport up to 20Tbps on long-distance links – were all switched to software-managed operations, allowing the deployment of on-demand activation services and automatic recovery control via Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies if there is an outage. Jean-Luc Vuillemin, Executive Vice President of Orange International Networks Infrastructures & Services, explained: ‘This progress is a major step in the development of our transmission network, towards quicker and more flexible production of transmission links, automation and the creation of new added-value services for our customers.’

RETN has established a new site in Taiwan, while also expanding its presence in the Japanese market. RETN’s new site in Taipei is located at Chief LY data centre and provides access to the RETN global network. RETN has also added three new sites in Tokyo: Equinix TY4, @Tokyo CC1 and BB Tower. The new sites complement its existing PoP at Equinix TY2. All sites are linked by a metro dark fibre ring, running an Infinera DWDM platform with an overlaid Juniper IP platform. In addition to the new locations, RETN will also be providing services via submarine cable into Eastern Russia and back to Europe, which will complement existing links to the West Coast of the US, and to Europe via RETN’s TRANSKZ terrestrial route across China and Central Asia. The route was launched in 2016 in partnership with Transtelecom offering low latency and protected services between all major European markets to China and Hong Kong.

CEB FibreNet – a subsidiary of the Central Electricity Board in Mauritius – has awarded a contract to ECI in order to expand and leverage its existing OPGW fibre-optic backbone. Under the agreement, ECI will provide advanced telecom services and connectivity to the country as a whole, allowing CEB FibreNet to provide customers with better quality of service including coverage, voice quality, connectivity and network resilience.

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