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

24 May 2019

The Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited (BSCCL) has received proposals from two Singapore-based companies – Singtel and Campana Group – to deploy the country’s third submarine cable. BSCCL’s Managing Director Mashiur Rahman said that the state-owned company is currently evaluating the proposals, both from financial and technical perspective, as it has already got the go-ahead from policymakers. Singtel’s offer comprises a connection to the SeaMeWe-6 cable from Singapore to France, which will provide the country with 5Tbps of bandwidth for an investment of USD72 million, while Campana proposes 12.4Tbps of bandwidth via the 2,227km Singapore-Myanmar Submarine (SIGMAR) system connecting Myanmar to Singapore for an investment of USD65 million; if Bangladesh joins the SIGMAR project, it will need to deploy 1,045km of cabling to the Bay of Bengal at its own expense. According to their estimation, Singtel will complete its project by 2023 and Campana by 2022.

Bevan Slattery, founder of SubPartners, has revealed that the INDIGO-Central and INDIGO-West submarine fibre-optic cables connecting Singapore, Indonesia and Australia are ‘about to go live’. The two cables, previously known as APX-Central and APX-West, were originally scheduled to be deployed by SubPartners, though in April 2017 the Australian submarine cable construction company was acquired by Superloop and the project was renamed INDIGO. The 9,200km INDIGO cable system – owned by a consortium comprising Superloop, Telstra, Singtel, Google, Indosat Ooredoo and Australia’s Academic and Research Network (AARNET) – connects the Australian cities of Sydney and Perth (INDIGO-Central) with Singapore and Jakarta (INDIGO-West). As reported by TeleGeography’s Cable Compendium, deployment work on the first section of the INDIGO-West submarine cable was completed in September 2018, with 2,400km of cabling rolled out from the Christmas Islands to Floreat Beach in Perth. Construction of the second section of the INDIGO-West cable, which links Singapore and Indonesia, started in November and was finalised on 21 December, while the rollout of the final splice of the 4,850km INDIGO-Central cable concluded on 24 December. The cable system entered a period of acceptance and commissioning testing in January 2019.

AT&T Corp has submitted applications to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on behalf of the Americas I and Columbus II consortiums for new cable landing licences to allow for the continued operations of the Americas I and Columbus II cable systems for additional 25-year terms, following the expiration of the current licences in September 2019 and October 2019 respectively. The Americas I cable system links Vero Beach (Florida, US) with Magens Bay (St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands) and interconnects to other cables serving the Caribbean and Central and South America. The 2,013km cable, which entered services in September 1994, has a design capacity of 800Gbps, and has been upgraded six times between 2009 and 2018. The 2,070km Columbus II, meanwhile, links West Palm Beach (Florida) and Magens Bay (St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands) providing 600Gbps of bandwidth capacity (design capacity of 800Gbps). The system entered operations in October 1994, while its international segments were retired in 2009.

TELE-POST Greenland has postponed the cable repair works on Greenland Connect breach near Qaqortoq until the beginning of August, due to adverse weather conditions. The cable vessel expected to carry out the repair arrived at the location last week, though the task was put on standby due to the site being covered with ice. CEO Kristian Reinert Davidsen said that the weather forecasts mean there is little prospect of the situation improving in the near future, with the repair postponed until after the ice season.

Tata Communications Transformation Services Limited (TCTS) is partnering with Africa Development Solutions (ADS Group) to facilitate the deployment of a fibre backbone across Africa. TCTS will perform pre-feasibility assessments with ADS for a number of African nations, studying existing and planned fibre-optic infrastructure, in order to deploy a multi-country infrastructure backbone. As a first step, TCTS and ADS are jointly coordinating the delivery of the Western African Digital Pool, which consists of deploying internet connectivity over seven African countries, including Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia and Mali.

Lastly, a global retail company has selected Zayo Group Holdings to upgrade its network. Zayo will provide the UK-based customer with a global network to support its business in over 150 countries. The solution will provide diverse wavelength connectivity and five 100G IP hubs across Western Europe and key locations in North America.

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