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

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8 Nov 2019

The COBRA fibre-optic cable interconnecting Denmark and the Netherlands has been officially launched. The new infrastructure was laid next to an existing 325km power cable linking Endrup in Denmark and Eemshaven (the Netherlands). The cable is owned by TenneT and Energinet, with Dutch company Relined Fiber Network being responsible for leasing out the extra capacity for commercial purposes. Norwegian infrastructure company Tampnet is the first company to make use of this new connection. Tampnet’s CEO, Per Helge Svensson, commented: ‘The COBRA cable is an important new connection for us that makes our network even more diverse and robust. Consequently, our Carrier operations can now provide a new high capacity and low latency route between Stockholm and Amsterdam and Oslo and Amsterdam, serving our customers within data centres, media and gaming.’

Orange Marine is set to commence the deployment of a submarine cable linking the southern islands of Guadeloupe today (8 November), following the arrival of the Pierre de Fermat vessel on location on 7 November. The 118km system, dubbed Guadeloupe Cable des Iles du Sud (GCIS), will comprise the rollout of 24 pairs of passive optical fibres between five landing points on the islands of Grande-Terre (St Francois), La Desirade (Beausejour), Marie-Galante (St Louis), Les Saintes (Terre de Haut) and Basse-Terre (Capesterre-Belle-Eau). The new cable, commissioned by the Regional Council of Guadeloupe and estimated to cost EUR10 million (USD11.3 million), is scheduled to be ready for service (RFS) in Q4 2019.

The government of the Cook Islands has hosted an inauguration ceremony for the Rarotonga Cable Landing Station, while works on a similar facility in Aitutaki will commence shortly. The two landing stations, scheduled to be completed in February 2020, will house the Manatua submarine cable aiming to connect Apia (Samoa) to To’ahotu (Tahiti) via a two/three fibre pair trunk, with branching units to Niue, Aitutaki (Cook Islands, one fibre pair), Rarotonga (Cook Islands, three fibre pairs) and Vaitape (French Polynesia, one fibre pair). The system – to be deployed by SubCom – will be owned and operated by the Manatua Consortium, which consists of French Polynesian telco Office des Postes et Telecommunications (OPT), Avaroa Cables Limited (ACL), Telecom Niue Limited (TNL) and the Samoa Submarine Cable Company (SSCC).

Elsewhere in the Pacific, construction work on the landing station for the Manatua cable in Niue will commence later this month, following the expected arrival of the ship transporting the infrastructure on 14 November, writes. Roy Lee Pavihi, a spokesperson for Telecom Niue Limited (TNL), said: ‘We are right through with our project at the moment. If you’ve been up to the landing site up at Sekena Makefu, you’ll see the dredging across the reef is halfway through and dredge works from the road up to the actual landing site on top of the hill is completed. We are currently waiting on the 14 November for the cable landing station to arrive and looking at the 27 November for the cable ship to land and start pulling the cable up to the site. We’re looking at mid-December for all the installations to be completed on site and early January to February we’ll be looking at testing the cable and depending on the testing results, we’re forecasting to go live in June 2020.’

Pre-fabricated modular data centre specialist DXN Limited has announced the execution of a contract of approximately AUD2.4 million (USD1.6 million) to supply Southern Cross Cable Limited (SCCL) with modular cable landing stations in the Pacific region. DXN Limited CEO Matthew Madden said that the contract included three deployments in the Pacific – located in Fiji (Savu Savu), Kiribati and Tokelau – which will house the 16,148km Southern Cross NEXT system. Construction of the landing stations will commence in mid-November, with deployments scheduled to be completed in 2020. The new Southern Cross NEXT cable is expected to be certified as RFS in January 2022, bringing 72Tbps of total design capacity between Sydney (Australia), Auckland (New Zealand) and the US. The US-Australia Trunk will have a length of 13,483km and land at existing landing points in Sydney (Australia) and Hermosa Beach (California). The Takapuna Branch will connect a branching unit on the main trunk to Takapuna (New Zealand); it will have a length of 1,301km and will comprise two fibre pairs, one of which is an express pair connecting Takapuna directly to Hermosa Beach and Sydney. The 309km Suva Branch will land at an existing facility in Suva (Fiji) and will consist of one fibre pair, to be owned and operated by Fiji International Telecommunications. The Savu Savu Branch (comprising one fibre pair and owned by the Fiji government) will stretch 305km to a newly-established landing point in Savu Savu (Fiji). The Apia Branch will link the main trunk with Apia (Samoa) via one fibre pair with a length of 310km and will be owned by the Samoa Submarine Cable Company (SSCC). The Nukunonu Branch (owned by the Telecommunication Tokelau Corporation) will also comprise one fibre pair and will stretch 53km to a newly built landing station in Nukunonu (Tokelau). The 377km Kiritimati Branch, owned by Bwebwerikinet Limited, will connect the main trunk to a new landing facility in Tabwakea, Kiritimati (Kiribati) and will comprise one fibre pair.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has updated the status of an application submitted by ARCOS-1 USA and A.SurNet (ASN) – seeking to modify their cable landing licence for the 8,700km ARCOS-1 submarine cable system to include a new authorised landing point in Cojimar (Cuba) – to blocked. The application outlined a plan to deploy a branch from an existing branching unit of the ARCOS-1 cable that lies approximately 56km off the coast of Cuba; the new branch was to be known as Segment 26 of the ARCOS-1 cable. Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba (ETECSA), the incumbent telecommunications provider in Cuba, was scheduled to provide the cable landing station (CLS) for Segment 26. Columbus Networks Limited (CNL), or a wholly-owned and controlled subsidiary of CNL, was scheduled to act as the landing party in Cuba, with Segment 26 jointly owned by CNL and some of the ARCOS consortium members, while ETECSA would acquire an indefeasible right of use (IRU) on some capacity on Segment 26 from CNL. Construction of Segment 26 was to be completed by CNL using an international submarine cable supplier.

The Tillamook County Planning Commission has scheduled a new vote on the proposed landing of the JUPITER submarine cable on a rural residential zoned property (located within the Tierra Del Mar area) for 14 November, after the 24 October vote ended in a tie due to ‘public health concerns’. Property owner Edge Cable Holdings submitted an application for a conditional use permit to land the submarine fibre-optic cable on the oceanfront residential lot at 28560 Sandlake Road earlier this year. The JUPITER submarine cable system aims to connect Maruyama and Shima in Japan with Los Angeles in the US and Daet in the Philippines. The 14,000km JUPITER network will deliver capacity of more than 60Tbps utilising ROADM which employs wavelength selective switch (WSS) technology, providing a greater diversity of connections and enhanced reliability for customers as well as optimised connectivity to data centres on the West Coast of the US. The system will be supplied by TE SubCom and is scheduled to be RFS in Q3 2020.

Bandwidth infrastructure company euNetworks has revealed that it will start offering commercial services over its newly built Super Highway 1 network comprising the Rockabill submarine cable linking Dublin to Southport across the North Irish Sea, with onward terrestrial connectivity to Manchester, London and Lowestoft later this month. Construction of the network started in March 2019 and services will be delivered to customers in the week commencing 25 November 2019. The new ultra-low loss network includes 1,000km of high fibre count cable provided by Corning, 340 chambers, 239 fibre joints, two new cable landing stations and four In-Line Amplification (ILA)/PoP sites. euNetworks selected McMahon Design & Management (MDM) for the submarine deployment, with MDM managing the development, permitting, licensing and cable laying. The shore-end work at Portrane and Southport was undertaken in July 2019 and the main cable deployment was completed in early September 2019.

Lastly, international network service provider RETN and Belarusian telecoms provider Beltelecom have announced the completion of a transit network section across the Republic of Belarus. The two companies joined forces to deploy the high-capacity DWDM route linking Moscow (Russia), Velikiye Luki (Russia), Minsk (Belarus), Brest (France), Warsaw (Poland) and Frankfurt (Germany), thus ‘significantly expanding the capacity for the transit traffic in the region’. Andrey Soborov, Acting Director at RETN in Belarus, commented: ‘Due to the agreements achieved with our partner, Beltelecom, the new transit route enables nx100Gbps high bandwidth connectivity for transport of European and Asian traffic between Russia and Eastern Europe. The network segment is built using Infinera’s DWDM equipment and allows to transfer a large amount of data with a minimal delay.’

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