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

29 May 2020

Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno has revealed that a project for the construction of a new submarine cable linking continental Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands is currently underway. El Universo writes that the USD50 million project is expected to be finalised in May 2021. The cable will stretch 1,200km and will link Manta and Galapagos; the mapping of the potential route is currently being carried out.

The Asia Africa Europe-1 (AAE-1) consortium has upgraded the AAE-1 submarine network, doubling its capacity, with Infinera supplying its Infinite Capacity Engine (ICE4) and Instant Bandwidth capabilities for the upgrade project. The 25,000km network – owned by a consortium of 19 global service providers – connects Asia, the Middle East, East Africa and Europe. AAE-1 is described as ‘the longest 100Gbps technology-based submarine system’ and offers design capacity of over 40Tbps.

Hawaiki Cable, American Samoa Telecommunications Authority (ASTCA) and American Samoa Hawaii Cable (ASH) have inked an agreement to form a three-way alliance dedicated to boosting capacity by linking Pacific territories and nations to Hawaii and the US mainland. The multi-million dollar deal will provide critical diversity and will help deliver international broadband to local operators and ISPs in American Samoa, Samoa, French Polynesia and other nations and territories via the Hawaiki submarine cable, with onward connectivity via the Samoa to American Samoa (SAS) system to Samoa and all interconnected points, including French Polynesia, Cook Islands, and Niue (via the in-deployment Manatua cable), as well as Fiji and Wallis and Futuna (via the Tui Cable, commissioned in 2018). American Samoa’s state-owned telecom operator ASTCA owns the 400km subsea branch that connects the Hawaiki trunk to the US territory, while ASH – jointly owned by Fiji’s ATH Group and the American Samoa Government – owns the 250km SAS cable. Paul Michael Young, President of ASH, said: ‘Due to the small size of most Pacific Islands telecoms markets and fragmented submarine cable infrastructures, partnerships like this one show how individual interests can be knitted together to create something that is truly bigger and stronger than the sum of its parts.’

MTA Fiber Holdings, a wholly-owned subsidiary of MTA, has completed the construction and begun operation of the Alaska Canada Overland Network (AlCan ONE), an all-terrestrial fibre-optic network connecting Alaska to the contiguous US and beyond. The new long-haul fibre network stretches from North Pole, AK, to the Canadian border almost 300 miles away where it interconnects with Canadian operators, with onward connectivity to the US. AlCan ONE will initially have capacity of over 100Tbps, which can be expanded and increased in the future as demand grows.

MainOne has been selected by the government of Burkina Faso, backed by the World Bank, to provide bulk connectivity services to nodes in Ouagadougou and Bobo Dioulasso to a consortium of operators through the PAV-Burkina Cooperative, for the next three years, Africa News writes. The Cooperative Consortium (SCOOP PAV-BURKINA) brings together key stakeholders to deliver a turnkey project that will provide fibre-optic transmission infrastructure between Ouagadougou and Dakola, to be delivered in two phases within a three-year period. The World Bank’s USD20 million support of the PRICAO initiative has enabled the Burkinabe State to set up a 200km fibre-optic transmission link from Ouagadougou to Dakola. The first phase of the project commenced in 2018, with the initial stage providing capacity in Ouagadougou over three years. Phase 2 of the project will commence in Q2 2020 and will lead to the provision of additional internet capacity in Ouagadougou and Bobo Dioulasso within another three-year period. MainOne has been selected to deliver Phase 2 and will provide 10Gbps broadband capacity in Ouagadougou, together with 5Gbps in Bobo Dioulasso. Prior to this, MainOne had been selected in 2019 through a restricted bids process and currently delivers an additional capacity of 2.5Gbps to Ouagadougou to strengthen and secure the capacity initially delivered in Phase I of the project.

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American Samoa, Burkina Faso, Cook Islands, Ecuador, Fiji, French Polynesia, Niue, Samoa, United States, Wallis and Futuna, American Samoa Telecommunications Authority (ASTCA), Hawaiki Cable, Infinera, MainOne Cable, Matanuska Telephone Association (MTA)