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

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7 Jun 2019

Cinia and MegaFon have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to set up a joint venture by the end of Q4 2019 to prepare for the deployment of a submarine telecommunications cable across the Arctic Ocean. The planned network infrastructure will connect Europe, coastal regions of Russia, Japan and North America. The new 10,000km Arctic cable is aiming to offer the ‘lowest-latency sea route between Europe and northern Asia’, with Cinia’s CEO Ari-Jussi Knaapila saying: ‘The Arctic cable will contribute to the socio-economic development of the Arctic areas. The cable is an environmentally sustainable way to boost global, regional and local economy. At the same time, the cable will connect three continents, covering approximately 85% of the world’s population.’

Papua New Guinea’s PNG DataCo, the state-owned enterprise responsible for the provision of wholesale ICT transmission services under the newly-restructured business of Kumul Telikom Holdings Limited (KTHL), and the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) have signed a partnership agreement to deliver the government’s ICT project in major towns in the country, The National writes. Under the agreement, PNG DataCo will be leasing twelve NBC sites (Alotau, Lae, Madang, Popondetta, Vanimo, Wewak, Kimbe, Kokopo, Manus, Kavieng, Kerema and Goroka) to install cable landing stations under the Kumul Domestic Cable project and one customer Point of Interconnect (PoI) under the Highlands Fiber Project to deliver services nationwide. The 5,457km Kumul Domestic Cable is currently scheduled to be funded by the Export-Import Bank of China and rolled out by Huawei in preparation for the Coral Sea Cable System (CSCS). The network is aiming to connect 15 coastal provincial capitals, running between Port Moresby, Alotau, Popondetta, Lae and Madang. PNG DataCo will also provide capacity upon request by NBC.

Huawei Technologies is selling its 51% stake in Huawei Marine Networks to Shanghai-listed cable maker Hengtong Optic-Electric for an undetermined amount of cash and stock, according to a statement filed by Hengtong with the Shanghai Stock Exchange. Hengtong said no formal contract was reached and the two parties have yet to settle on a price. Huawei Marine is a joint venture between Huawei and British undersea cable firm Global Marine Systems.

South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) has released a draft environmental impact assessment (EIA) report on the proposed Meltingpot Indianoceanic Submarine System (METISS) subsea cable system, the South Coast Sun writes. The 3,200km fibre-optic cable will connect South Africa, Madagascar, Reunion and Mauritius, delivering 24Tbps of design capacity. The environmental authorisation process for the system commenced in February 2019, and a final scoping report (FSR) was submitted to the DEA for a decision. The FSR was approved by the DEA on 13 April 2019, with the draft EIA report available for public comments until 5 July.

Telecom Italia’s international wholesale unit Sparkle and Telekom Slovenije have announced the launch of a new cross border fibre-optic link directly connecting Ljubljana (Slovenia) with Milan (Italy). Fully interconnected with Sparkle’s and Telekom Slovenije’s backbones, the new link provides a short and alternative route from the Balkans – with access options from Ljubljana, Sofia (Bulgaria) and Istanbul (Turkey) – to Milan and other major hubs in Western Europe, catering the needs of Balkan and Middle Eastern operators as well as of international OTTs, ISPs and content providers. The new route is natively integrated with Sparkle’s global Tier-1 IP Transit backbone Seabone.

Elsewhere, Sparkle has launched a new PoP in Aqaba (Jordan), in cooperation with Naitel. The new PoP is located in Naitel’s open data centre, benefiting from Sparkle’s international network and Tier-1 global IP backbone Seabone. Sparkle’s CEO Mario Di Mauro said: ‘We are very proud of this new initiative that strengthens Sparkle’s positioning in the Middle East. The new Aqaba PoP marks a further step towards the consolidation of our company as leading network provider also beyond the Mediterranean basin, providing its customers premium diversified connectivity solutions.’

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