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

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12 Jun 2020

The Asia Direct Cable (ADC) Consortium has revealed that it is building a new submarine cable, called Asia Direct Cable (ADC) connecting China (Hong Kong SAR and Guangdong Province), Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The consortium – which includes Singtel, CAT, China Telecom, China Unicom, PLDT, Singtel, SoftBank Corp, Tata Communications and Viettel, has selected NEC to construct the 9,400km ADC cable system, which is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2022. The cable will feature multiple pairs of high capacity optical fibres and is designed to carry more than 140Tbps of traffic, enabling high capacity transmission of data across the East and Southeast Asian regions. The system will land at SoftBank’s Maruyama Cable Landing Station in Japan, Shantou (China), China Hong Kong SAR, Batangas (Philippines), Quy Nhon (Vietnam), Sri Racha (Thailand) and Tuas (Singapore).

Bahrain-based Kalaam Telecom Group has launched a new terrestrial fibre-optic cable system that enhances regional and international connectivity in the MENA region. The Kalaam Network Optical Transit (KNOT) cable system spans over 1,400km, providing capacity of 12.8Tbps. The KNOT cable system is powered by Ciena’s 6500 packet-optical platform equipped with WaveLogic coherent technology. The whole infrastructure is managed by micro based Network Management System (NMS) with open APIs and embedded SDN controllers, to provide 10G, 100G, 200G services and beyond over an Optical Transport Network (OTN). The new system provides route diversity across the Middle East by connecting Kalaam’s meshed transmission network across twelve countries via 16 PoPs.

AT&T, on behalf of Brunei International Gateway (BIG) and Unified National Networks (UNN), has notified the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of the pro forma assignment of the ownership and voting interests in the AAG cable system from BIG to UNN, as part of a January 2020 restructuring of the telecommunication sector in Brunei Darussalam. AT&T highlighted that the direct ownership of both entities is by Darussalam Assets, a private limited company established in 2012 to own Brunei’s government-linked companies, so the transaction does not result in a change in the licensee’s ultimate control. AT&T also requested that the FCC grant a waiver of the 30-day notification period for this notification, claiming that ‘the inadvertent delay is the result of a lack of familiarity with the cable landing licence by UNN and difficulties encountered by UNN in attempting to submit this information in late April 2020 following communications from the International Bureau.’

Germany-based euNetworks, which owns and operates a long haul network that spans 51 cities in 15 countries across Europe, has secured an additional EUR250 million (USD284 million) of capital from the Investment Management Corporation of Ontario (IMCO), an investor since 2018, alongside a new commitment from a vehicle managed by Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners. Pro forma for the capital raise, Stonepeak will continue to own a majority stake in euNetworks. The equity commitment will be allocated to fund further organic growth, M&A and other general corporate purposes.

Lastly, Global Cloud Xchange (GCX) has renewed a multi-year agreement with SGS, which will see the SGS global network spanning 140 countries transform from a traditional router-based network to a Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN) over the next three years. The new GCX-managed SD-WAN will use SD-WAN hubs positioned at strategic points within the GCX core network to enable users at more than 1,000 remote sites to access global applications while maintaining the regional segmentation and control. Further services included in the solution comprise managed Hybrid underlay, Cloud-based security gateways, GCX’s CLOUD X Fusion direct Cloud connectivity, and GCX professional services for project management and migration.

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