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

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13 Aug 2021

Telxius and America Movil (AM) have announced that the new South Pacific Cable System (SPSC)/Mistral submarine cable linking Puerto San Jose (Guatemala) with Valparaiso (Chile) is now ready for service (RFS). The system, which was designed and built by SubCom, is a next generation high-capacity fibre-optic submarine cable that runs along the Latin American Pacific coast, with additional landing points in Salinas (Ecuador), Lurin (Peru) and Arica (Chile). The system spans approximately 7,300km and comprises six fibre pairs and 132Tbps of design capacity. Telxius CEO Mario Martin said: ‘With the rapid rise in cloud adoption and an increasing demand for higher capacity, lower latency and higher availability, this next generation submarine cable is ready for service at a pivotal time. Mistral means that Telxius effectively contributes with the highest standards of service, reliability and security in the region, creating opportunities for businesses and communities across Latin America and optimising digital services for society at large.’

Construction works on a new submarine fibre-optic cable in the Arctic, called Polar Express, has now commenced near Teriberka, Reuters writes. The 12,650km Transarctic line will comprise a terrestrial route from Murmansk to Teriberka, from where the first submarine trunk will cross the Barents Sea to Amderma in the Nenets Autonomous Okrug. The system will traverse along the Northern Sea Route, before the line is extended to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk on the Pacific coast. The final stop in Russia is currently planned as Vladivostok, though connections could be added to other East Asian countries in the future. UPT, which is tasked with the development of the project, will invest RUB65 billion (USD872 million) in the deployment. Deputy Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation Alexander Poshivay revealed that a total of 150 optical repeaters will be installed along the cable route. The Polar Express cable will consist of six fibre pairs: four pairs will be used for the transit of traffic from Europe to Asia, and two for ‘going ashore’. The total transmission speed of the cable is scheduled to reach up to 104Tbps, with a project completion date currently set for 2026.

Facebook has notified the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that the application for a licence to land and operate within the US a non-common carrier submarine cable system, called the CAP-1, connecting Grover Beach (California) and Pagudpud (the Philippines), no longer seeks any authority for China Mobile International Limited (CMI). CMI is no longer participating in the construction, ownership and operation of the CAP-1 system, which will now be constructed, owned and operated by Facebook/its affiliates and Amazon Data Services. An amended and restated request to extend the special temporary authority (STA) filed by the CAP-1 licence applicants – which seeks authority to construct, connect, and test those portions of the CAP-1 cable system in US territory prior to the FCC’s grant of the applicants’ pending cable landing licence application – has also removed CMI as applicant. The CAP-1 system reflects the reconfiguration of the earlier Bay to Bay Express (BtoBE) cable system, the application for which had been withdrawn due to security concerns. The CAP-1 system will have six fibre pairs and consist of a single 12,000km trunk between an existing facility at Grover Beach, California and a new cable landing station at Pagudpud. When it enters commercial operations (scheduled for Q4 2022), the cable will have a design capacity of 90×200Gbps (or equivalent) per fibre pair using current technology, with an aggregate design capacity of 108Tbps.

Fujitsu Network Communications has announced that Fujitsu hardware, software and services have been chosen for the Connected Coast project to bring high-speed connectivity to rural and remote communities along the coast of British Columbia and around Vancouver Island. The CityWest Connected Coast Network Corporation and Strathcona Connected Coast Network Corporation selected the Fujitsu 1FINITY platform and Virtuora Network Control (NC) solution, as well as Fujitsu field services and project management to build the new fibre network. The new DWDM network will incorporate Fujitsu 1FINITY T300 Transport, S900 Switch, and L100 Lambda blades, along with Virtuora Network Controller (NC) to provide open, multi-vendor SDN control and management. The first group of communities will be connected before the end of this year, with project completion expected in 2023.

Orange Poland has carried out lab trials of multi-core fibre-optic equipment in conjunction with Infinera and InPhoTech, enabling it to reach data transfer rates of up to 11.2Tbps. The tests used seven dual-channel cores, each with a throughput of 1.6Tbps.

Lastly, RTI Connectivity (RTI) and InterGlobix have entered into a strategic business partnership agreement, under which InterGlobix will focus on RTI’s network growth strategy and product offering in the high-growth strategic area of data centre and Cable Landing Station (CLS) convergence. Vinay Nagpal, President of InterGlobix and Executive Director of the Internet Ecosystem Innovation Committee (IEIC), commented: ‘With a subsea network spanning 38,110km and connecting three continents together, RTI owns and operates one of the most robust and well-connected subsea networks in the world with a strong position in the AsiaPac region. We are honoured to partner with RTI and look forward to contributing toward their next phase of growth both geographically and in product offerings.’

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Antarctica, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Amazon, America Movil (AM), China Mobile International, Facebook, Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Fujitsu, Infinera, Orange Poland, RAM Telecom International (RTI), SubCom, Telxius