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

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21 Jun 2019

Huawei has announced a plan to install an undersea fibre-optic cable connecting Sihanoukville (Cambodia) and Hong Kong, in partnership with China Communications Construction Co. The proposal was announced during a meeting between Transport Minister Sun Chanthol and Huawei Cambodia’s CEO Mark Wong. However, Im Vutha, a spokesperson for the Telecommunication Regulator of Cambodia (TRC), disclosed that only four companies had been granted licences to invest in submarine cables in the Kingdom, and that China Communications Construction Co and Huawei were not among them, adding that the TRC is yet to receive licence applications from these companies: ‘Any company wishing to invest in submarine cables in Cambodia first needs to apply for a licence with the regulator.’ TeleGeography notes that Cambodia’s first submarine link, the 1,300km Malaysia-Cambodia-Thailand (MCT) Cable, was officially launched in March 2017, while a second system – the Asia Africa Europe-1 (AAE-1) – was lit in June 2017.

Planning permission for a landing point in the proposed Blackpool Enterprise Zone for the CeltixConnect-2 (CC-2) cable, which is being built by submarine cable provider AquaComms, is due to be lodged with Blackpool Council later this week. If approved, a connection to the submarine cable could be established in September 2019. Plans for the enterprise zone were submitted to Blackpool Council and Flyde Borough council at the end of last month and include 3.2 million square foot area allocated for data centre development. The Blackpool council has been granted GBP2.7 million (USD3.38 million) of government funding to upgrade and activate fibre-optic cables along the length of the Blackpool coastal tramline. The CC-2 system, which crosses the Irish Sea and links Dublin and Blackpool, is part of the so-called North Atlantic Loop, also comprising the North Sea Connect (NSC) system, which crosses the North Sea and joins Newcastle and Denmark. The two submarine systems will combine with existing infrastructure to create a ring-based network to provide connectivity across mainland Europe, the UK and Ireland, with an onward path to the US.

Hawaiki Submarine Cable has expanded its subsea network with a new direct route to Los Angeles (US), offering greater connectivity and route diversity to clients operating between Australia, New Zealand and the US. The new route – based on the most easterly segment of the SEA-US cable – completes Hawaiki’s existing links to the US, including Hillsboro, Seattle and Hawaii, with Hawaiki establishing its third PoP on the US West coast. Hawaiki CEO, Remi Galasso, said: ‘As demand for capacity continues to rise sharply, customers are constantly looking for versatile connectivity solutions. This expansion marks an important milestone for Hawaiki as it both strengthens our position in the US market and greatly enhances our network flexibility. It also provides our customers with powerful new options in terms of capacity products, delivery points and route diversity.’ Launched in July 2018, the transpacific Hawaiki system connecting New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii and mainland US is a 15,000km fibre-optic carrier-neutral cable with a design capacity of 67Tbps.

Lebanon’s Ministry of Telecommunications (MoT) has revealed plans for a new submarine cable to link the country to Europe, said Minister of Telecommunications Mohamad Choucair. Once the studies related to the project are completed, a tender will be launched which will be implemented in partnership with other parties. Lebanon will provide a portion of the required funding for the cable project. Another cable project, aiming to replace the Cadmus system linking Lebanon to Cyprus, is scheduled to be launched this year; the project will be executed in partnership with Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (Cyta).

French Polynesia is reportedly interested in connecting to a submarine cable being discussed between China and Chile, Radio New Zealand (RNZ) writes. Such a cable would pass near Mangareva from where a link could be established. French Polynesia’s President Edouard Fritch was quoted as saying that the topic has been raised in talks with the State Secretary for the Digital Economy Cedric O, though more detailed discussions with the French government were on the cards. The government said that investments in submarine links were useful and strategic, yet costly for French Polynesia, which has a population of around 280,000.

Bahrain’s Batelco has announced an extension of its partnership with Tata Communications to offer flexible and reliable data connectivity with expanded global reach. The new collaboration brings together Tata Communications’ global Tier-1 IP network and its new partnership IP node with Batelco in Global Zone – the Carrier Neutral Tier-3 certified data centre in Bahrain, and the recently launched protected terrestrial cable system Batelco Gulf Network (BGN). The combination of these networks and infrastructures will offer service providers resilient network connectivity with increased reach in the Middle East and globally.

Lastly, Seaborn Networks has announced plans to provide new IP Service offerings comprising diverse Ethernet Service and IP Service solutions between North and South America. IP Service offerings will include IP Transit, Remote Peering, Cloud Connect and Enterprise DIA solutions. By combining rapid service deployment within days with the operational control of its fully owned and managed Seabras-1 subsea system, Seaborn is able to directly control all aspects and layers of the network. Seaborn’s Seabras-1 offers direct PoP to PoP route between Sao Paulo (Brazil) and New York City (US), and will shortly launch an end-to-end orchestration platform that will enable services to be delivered in real time through SDN technology.

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