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

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20 Mar 2020

Orange Group has announced the landing of the Dunant submarine cable in Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez, located in the Vendee region of France. The 6,600km trans-Atlantic cable – to be owned and operated by Google and Orange and deployed by SubCom – will connect Virginia Beach (US) to Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez (France) and is expected to launch commercial services in late 2020. As the landing party and owner of the French part of the cable, Orange has opted to refurbish the historic station in Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez (which was no longer in use) to house the terminal equipment for the Dunant system. From this landing station, Orange is deploying terrestrial optical fibres between Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez and Paris to route its traffic on the Dunant cable to the capital’s major data centres and will also provide service to the rest of Europe and major international data centres. Orange will benefit from two pairs of optical fibres with a capacity of up to 30Tbps each.

The Kumul Domestic Submarine Cable System has landed in Sadlers Bay, located in Lorengau (Papua New Guinea, or PNG), The National writes. The project, part-funded by the Chinese Exim Bank (which provided 85% preferential buyers credit to the PNG government to carry out the project), is being rolled out by Huawei in preparation for the Coral Sea Cable System (CSCS); China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation meanwhile is the designated provider of cable equipment. The domestic network is aiming to connect 15 coastal provincial capitals, running between Port Moresby, Alotau, Popondetta, Lae and Madang. The Kumul system consists of three sections; System 1 – connecting Jayapura to Arawa with seven branching units to Vanimo, Wewak, Lorengau, Madang, Kimbe, Kavieng and Kokopo – is currently under deployment; System 2 spanning 1,874km and connecting Madang to Port Moresby with three branching units to Lae, Popondetta and Alotau was completed in December 2018; and System 3 connecting Daru and Kerema to the existing branching units in the 200km PNG LNG system. According to Liu Linlin, commercial counsellor at the Chinese embassy in PNG, the project should be completed and transferred to PNG by mid-2020.

Djibouti Telecom is renovating its 300km terrestrial fibre-optic links to neighbouring Ethiopia. According to a company press release, the operator is renovating the Djibouti-Galileh and Djibouti-Galafi routes with 144 core G652D fibre-optic cables. These diverse buried fibre-optic routes to the border with Ethiopia are also protected by redundant fibre routes along an aerial OPGW power cable fibre link, and a fibre link along the railway network connecting Addis Ababa to Djibouti via Dire Dawa and Dewele. With seven operational submarine cables currently landing in Djibouti, Djibouti Telecom provides international internet bandwidth to Ethio Telecom. In 2016 Ethio Telecom reported that its international internet bandwidth was 37.5Gbps, of which 14.9Gbps was provided via Djibouti.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved the pro forma transfer of control to the following submarine cable systems: MAREA, BRUSA, Pacific Caribbean Cable System (PCCS) and South America-1 (SAm-1) to applicants Telxius Cable USA, Telxius Cable Puerto Rico, Telxius Cable America and Telxius Cable Colombia The pro forma transfer of control from KKR Management LLC to KKR Management LLP, which is deemed to hold negative control over the Telxius Cable Landing Licensees, resulted from an internal reorganisation undertaken by KKR & Co and its subsidiaries. In October 2017 Taurus Bidco (KKR Bidco) acquired a 24.8% voting-and-equity interest in Telxius Telecom and certain negative control rights over the Telxius Cable Landing Licensees from Telefonica and subsequently purchased 15.2% voting-and-equity interest in Telxius in December 2017. Following the consummation of those transactions, Telefonica retained de jure control of the Telxius Cable Landing Licensees, while KKR Management LLC was deemed to hold negative control over the Telxius Cable Landing Licensees. Effective 1 January 2020 KKR & Co and its subsidiaries completed an internal reorganisation, resulting in certain changes to the structure through which KKR Management LLP (formerly KKR Management LLC) is deemed to hold negative control over the Telxius Cable Landing Licensees resulting in a pro forma transfer of control of the Telxius Cable Landing Licensees.

Lastly, Cameroonian telecoms operator CamTel has received a new licence for the establishment and operation of a nationwide transport network, including submarine cable landing stations, ITWeb Africa writes.

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Cameroon, Djibouti, Ethiopia, France, Papua New Guinea, CamTel (Blue), Djibouti Telecom, Google (Alphabet), HMN Tech (formerly Huawei Marine), Orange Group, SubCom, Telefonica, Telxius