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

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11 Dec 2020

India’s Union Cabinet has approved plans to deploy a fibre-optic submarine cable that will connect eleven islands situated within the Lakshadweep archipelago to Kochi, which is situated on mainland India. The project will be funded by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT)-supervised Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) and executed by state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL). The Lakshadweep-Kochi project was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Independence Day this year, shortly after he inaugurated the Chennai-Andaman & Nicobar Islands Cable. The authorities expect the subsea link to be completed by May 2023.

Russia has unveiled plans to roll out submarine cable infrastructure in the Arctic to be used by large ports and oil and gas companies, the Federal Sea and River Transportation Agency (Rosmorrechflot) announced late last month. The trans-Arctic cable will stretch more than 10,000km from the north-western port of Murmansk to the Pacific port city of Vladivostok. The first stage of the deployment is expected to take place in 2021, with the full project set for completion by 2026.

Completion of the planned cross-border fibre-optic link between the Central African Republic and Cameroon has been delayed until July 2021, the Republic’s Minister of Posts and Telecommunications has informed the local media. Justin Gourna Zacko confirmed that just 200km of the 1,100km link has been completed to date, blaming a combination of regulatory red-tape and the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. When complete, it will connect capital Bangui to Gamboula, which is situated next to the Cameroon border. The EUR33 million (USD39.9 million) project has been co-funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the European Union.

UK-based connectivity firm SSE Enterprise Telecoms (note: subsequently renamed NEOS Networks) has selected Infinera to deploy its XTM Series for the second phase of its UK-wide network expansion. The expanded network will bring high-capacity services to more businesses across the UK, aiding in the deployment of next-generation technologies such as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). The network will span over 30,000km upon completion, providing enterprise customers with high-bandwidth connectivity via Layer 2 packet optical aggregation.

BSO has enlisted Australia-based network provider Superloop to enhance its Singapore network. Superloop will provide the underlying fibre-optic infrastructure to support new ultra-high capacity DWDM networks across an initial four Singapore major hubs, located at: Equinix SG1, Equinix SG2, Global Switch 1 and Singapore SGX. BSO says the upgrade will allow it to ‘seamlessly deliver up to 100G client connectivity for its OTN, low latency and SDN product range’.

Finally, the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) has advised that the current disruption in internet services has been caused by damage to a submarine cable located between Saint Vincent and Grenada, in the region of the Kick’ em Jenny volcano. According to TATT, the incident has partially affected the total international bandwidth available to some operators.

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Central African Republic, India, Russia, Singapore, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), BSO, Infinera, NEOS Networks (formerly SSE Telecoms), Superloop, Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad & Tobago (TATT)

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