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

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27 Nov 2020

Cypriot telco Cyta has confirmed that it is poised to start work on the deployment of a submarine cable sub-system known as ARSINOE, after receiving an operating licence from the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works. TeleGeography notes that the sub-system is actually part of the larger PEACE Cable deployment, which will ultimately extend to locations such as Pakistan, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya and the Seychelles. The section known as ARSINOE will connect Cyprus with France and Egypt and have a local landing station in Yeroskipou. Cyta notes that the ARSINOE infrastructure is expected to be ready for service (RFS) by the first quarter of 2022.

Hawaiki Submarine Cable has announced that it will deploy Ciena’s WaveLogic 5 Extreme technology in order to deliver a ‘critical network upgrade’ to meet the surging demand for capacity and speed. Hawaiki says that it is the first subsea operator in the South Pacific Trans-Oceanic region to achieve 500Gbps wavelengths over 9,000km between Sydney and Hawaii. Hawaiki owns and operates the 15,000km Hawaiki Transpacific Cable, which connects Australia, New Zealand, American Samoa, Hawaii and the US West Coast.

AFR-IX Telecom, the company that owns the in-deployment Barcelona Cable Landing Station (BCLS) facility, has confirmed that the landing station will be able to accommodate up to eight submarine cables following its construction. The company explained: ‘Currently, Marseille receives most of submarine fibre-optic cables of the Mediterranean, where there is a clear saturation. The need for another landing station, such as Barcelona CLS is clear.’ The facility is expected to become operational in the first quarter of 2022.

Filipino telco PLDT has revealed plans to construct two new submarine cable landing stations in order to serve the data needs of its customers. The Manila Standard quotes chief executive Manuel Pangilinan as saying: ‘We already have three cable landing stations and at least two more are coming up next year.’ The telco’s domestic fibre transport network spanned 395,000km as of end-September.

Chadian president Idriss Deby has announced the commencement of work on a cross-border fibre link between Chad and Niger. The 503km system will form part of the Trans-Saharan Optical Fibre Backbone (TSB), which originates in Algeria and will have a total length of 1,510km. The Chad-Niger link will cost EUR28.7 million (USD34.2 million), of which the state will contribute EUR2.4 million. The project is expected to be completed by 2024.

Finally, following news that Italian energy firm Enel is poised to sell a strategic stake in Open Fiber to Macquarie, the company has declared its intention to build wholesale fibre networks in markets outside of Italy. At a virtual event for the company’s Capital Markets Day, Enel chief executive Francesco Starace told investors: ‘We will replicate this model in other parts of the world where we see similar or parallel situations.’ While target markets have not been divulged, the group has a strong presence in Latin America, and underscored its interest in the region in June 2018 when it acquired a 21% stake in Latin American wholesale fibre operator Ufinet. Altogether, Enel has a presence in more than 30 countries worldwide, distributing electricity via 2.2 million kilometres of power lines in selected countries.

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