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

28 Feb 2020

A second international submarine cable is scheduled to land on the island nation of Seychelles in July 2021, the Seychelles News Agency reports. The cable’s landing is planned at Perseverance, situated on the northeastern coast of the main island of Mahe. Eric Delort of iXblue, which has been contracted to conduct the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment study, said that the landing of the PEACE Cable will take into consideration major constraints including avoiding several areas which include sensitive zones. The project is being implemented by the Seychelles Cable System Company at a cost of USD20 million. TeleGeography notes that Phase 1 of the PEACE project (spanning 12,000km) will link France to Pakistan through a single landing point in the city of Marseille (France) using the Europe-Asia route, and to the city of Mombasa (Kenya) via a short route towards the Indian Ocean; the branch to the Seychelles will link to the Kenya stub. The system will be subsequently expanded to South Africa via the PEACE South extension under Phase 2, reaching a total length of 15,000km. The system will deploy 200G and WSS technologies, which provide capabilities to transmit 16Tbps per fibre pair. The cable – expected to be ready for service (RFS) in Q1 2021 – will be deployed by Huawei Marine Networks; a contract for the cable manufacturing had been awarded to HENGTONG Marine. Orange will supply and operate the cable landing station in Marseille.

Altibox Carrier and Xtera have announced that they have started construction of a new repeater-based cable system between Stavanger (Norway) and Newcastle (UK). With a capacity of up to 216Tbps, the NO-UK system will significantly increase data capacity between Norway and the rest of the world. In addition to dark fibre sales, the eight-fibre pair cable across the North Sea will be a part of a larger European fibre network established by Altibox Carrier, Euroconnect-1, that will ensure robust and state-of-the-art digital infrastructure. Altibox Carrier CTO Atle Soma said: ‘The contract is now in force, and the system will be RFS by the end of Q4 2021’. The NO-UK consortium comprises Altibox Carrier, Haugaland Kraft, BKK, Ryfylke IKS, Green Mountain, Polysys and Hatteland Group.

Southern Cross Cable has connected what it claims is ‘the first single-wavelength 800G across a live production network’ using Ciena’s WaveLogic 5 Extreme (WL5e) coherent optics. The new 800G channel speed ran error-free on Southern Cross’ live production network between two large, global data centres on the US West Coast and demonstrated ‘record-breaking’ spectral efficiencies. Southern Cross will begin volume deployment of WL5e in Q2 2020 across various segments of its network, including Trans-Pacific submarine and terrestrial cables across US West Coast and New Zealand. Southern Cross currently owns and operates the Southern Cross Cable Network (SCCN) connecting Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Hawaii to mainland US. The network comprises 28,900km of submarine cables and 1,600km of terrestrial fibre-optic cables. Another in-deployment route, the Southern Cross NEXT project, will deliver capacity of 72Tbps when it enters services in January 2022.

AT&T Mobility Puerto Rico (AMPR) has notified the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that it has served its modification application seeking to relinquish its interest in the Americas-II cable system (filed in December 2019) to all licensees of the cable network. Pursuant to Section 1.767(m)(2) of the FCC’s rules, the party seeking such a modification is required to serve the application to each of the other licensees of the cable system.

Lastly, Liquid Telecom has announced that it has completed the construction of a 200km fibre-optic route connecting the capital city Juba to the border of Uganda through Nimule, thus linking South Sudan to Liquid Telecom’s 70,000km regional fibre-optic network and submarine cables landing in Mombasa (Kenya). This is South Sudan’s first international fibre-optic link.

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