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

22 Nov 2019

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved an application filed by Hawaiki Submarine Cable USA (HSC USA), HCL Limited Partnership (HCL LP) and Australia’s specialist infrastructure investment manager Palisade Investment Partners for the transfer of de facto control of HSC USA from HCL Limited Partnership to Palisade. Palisade and HCL LP entered into binding agreements to become equity partners in September 2018, with funds managed by Palisade Partners acquiring an equity ownership interest in HCL LP. As a result of the transaction, Palisade has acquired a combination of redeemable preference and ordinary equity interests in HCL LP that equate to 30% of the voting rights in HCL LP (with Palisade holding 10% of the ordinary shares and 100% of the preferred shares in HCL LP). The construction of the Hawaiki submarine cable commenced in March 2016 and the FCC granted the US cable landing licence in December 2017. The Hawaiki system – which entered into service in July 2018 – has five segments and currently lands in five locations: Sydney, Australia; Mangawhai Heads, New Zealand; Tafuna, American Samoa; Kapolei, Oahu, Hawaii; and Pacific City, Oregon (US). The Hawaiki system’s capacity and facilities of the main trunk are 100%-owned by the HCL LP (excluding the spur to American Samoa, which is owned by the American Samoa Telecommunications Authority [ASTCA]). In addition, HSC USA owns and operates the Hawaiki System’s cable landing station in Oahu (Hawaii).

Construction work on the ‘TransCaspian Fiber Optic’ project – aiming to link Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan via a submarine cable laid along the bottom of the Caspian Sea – has now commenced, Kazinform writes. The cable will stretch 380km-400km and will provide transmission capacity of 4Tbps-6Tbps when it enters operations at the end of 2021. Azerbaijani operator AzerTelecom and Kazakhstan operators KazTransCom and Transtelecom signed a cooperation agreement for the construction of a fibre-optic cable line between Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan earlier this year, with the Azerbaijani government approving the plan in April. The network is also part of the Trans-Eurasian Information Super Highway (TASIM) trans-continental backbone project aiming to connect 20 countries via two alternative routes – Southern and Northern – stretching from Frankfurt (Germany) to Hong Kong. As noted by TeleGeography’s Cable Compendium, a preliminary memorandum of understanding (MoU) regarding the implementation of the TASIM system was signed in Baku, Azerbaijan in December 2013, by China Telecom (China), KazTransCom (Kazakhstan), Rostelecom (Russia), Turk Telekom (Turkey) and Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Communications and High Technologies (MCHT).

Telia Carrier has chosen Ciena as the supplier of a new Open Optical Line System (O-OLS) in Europe. The selected system will be deployed from the beginning of 2020 and will provide increased capacity across the European FLAP (Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam and Paris) markets, as well as linking-up additional key locations in the Telia Carrier network, to create a European Express Network. Additionally, Telia Carrier will deploy Ciena’s Waveserver transponders, powered by WaveLogic Ai and WaveLogic 5 Extreme coherent optics, which can be deployed in the new O-OLS in Europe and in other existing Line Systems in the Telia Carrier network, in both Europe and the US.

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American Samoa, Australia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, United States, American Samoa Telecommunications Authority (ASTCA), Azertelecom, Ciena Corporation, Federal Communications Commission (FCC), KazTransCom, Telia Carrier, Transtelecom (Kazakhstan)